Home: 4 Possibilities

The combination of a return to my childhood home and recent experience with refugees rekindled memories of what we all value personally and professionally – our home. Not necessarily the physical structure itself, but the sense of belonging that can never be taken away. The thought that begins with “I am from….”

We are all aware of our national transience since WW II and we are impressed by the stories (some beyond tragedy) of displaced refugees who are fortunate to make a better life here. But we never forget our home.

What about our professional lives? It is increasingly apparent that professional displacement has increased in recent times, for a variety of reasons. Business leaders and entrepreneurs are wise to consider this phenomenon with the following in mind:

  • Partners and employees strive to create a sense of home in their work environment. This sense of belonging is critical to effective team work because it is foundational to a sense of safety that we all seek. Strong leaders pay attention and encourage a sense of belonging.
  • When you have a home it is easier to assess your own skills and abilities honestly. Home is vital to self-discovery and open-mindedness. Successful leaders nurture this with patience.
  • The foundation of home increases adaptability and agility in the face of change. For most it is easier to venture forth actively with the sense that there is a place where you ultimately belong.
  • When you encourage your employees and others to build a sense of home you build trust, loyalty and dedication to everyone’s future. Successful leaders look to this longer term future.

Like displaced refugees we all ritualize the sense of home, rituals that contribute to the rich diversity we find in every community. Not to be feared but to be celebrated. My recent celebrations were a $2.50 cheese omelet at Kevin Haefner’s Wagon Wheel in my hometown and a beer with Greg Anderson nearby. Greg summed it up with “I may not see you for five years or more, but I never forget that we are friends and this is our home.” Build that in your organization and you will have an enviable foundation for everyone’s future.