Summary.   Let’s face it. Most of us go through the motions, phoning it in, but engage in our work less than we are capable of. The consequence is not just lower productivity; it is lower quality of life. Half-hearted effort isn’t fun. The first responsibility of leaders — whether front line supervisors, middle managers, or executives — is to provide employees with a visceral connection to the human purpose they serve. Leaders can maintain a lively sense of connection through storytelling. Most storytelling is brief. It involves using concrete examples that reframe a moment by personifying human consequences. People’s feelings about their work are only partly about the work itself. They are equally, if not more so, about how they frame their work. Do they see what they’re doing as a mindless ritual? Do they see it as empty compliance? Or do they see it as sacred duty? If you change the frame you change the feeling. And nothing changes frames faster than a story.

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