Alchemy began as a medieval quest for an elixir that would turn copper, lead and other base metals to gold. Since, silver and other precious metals were the currency of the time, it was the same concept as printing money in today’s vernacular (minus the threat of inflation, mind you). The quest for qualified alchemists became serious business during this time.
How great would it be, as a business, if you could legally print money without fear of jail or inflation? Would you do it? I know I would. The reality is, you do have this option. You may not see it because your perspective isn’t where it needs to be. It all starts and ends with leadership. If you learn how to be a leadership alchemist, you will begin to see gold in places that use to seem ordinary and common.
The magic elixir in leadership alchemy is value. Not value as a noun, but value as a verb. We typically don’t have a problem valuing things, especially if it was our money that bought them. Where we tend to drop the ball is when we need to value people. It’s strange that the thing we crave most from others, to feel valued, we pretty much suck at providing for others. Feeling valued is a basic human need and ignoring this is ignoring someone’s humanity.
There are the people in our organizations that seem like rock stars. We don’t have a problem valuing them because we can measure the amount of money they helped us make. In case you didn’t notice what takes place here, we are choosing to value people based on what they can provide for us not for who they are. That’s all backwards.
The alchemy part comes in when we look at the ordinary, common, and plain (the not-so-happening rock stars) and give them the same value. Giving someone value does not equate to abolishing accountability, so lose that lame argument already. When people feel valued, their best becomes better. Their loyalty sky rockets. Their sense of dedication and willingness to go that extra mile explodes. They become more productive. This is you printing money… practicing leadership alchemy.
Where are some areas in your leadership that you can begin expressing more value? In what ways can you transition value from being a noun to a verb in your world? Don’t just do it at work. Value your partner or spouse. Value your kids. Value your neighbors and friends. The amount of wealth you will be creating for yourself will rival that of kings. Leadership is a lifestyle, not a work skill.
So tell me. What are the things you value in your world?