Seeing the Secret of Engagement

 Successful leaders define meaning and explain purpose.

There are no menial tasks as long as tasks have meaning.

My recent stay (11/11) at Susquehanna Health (SH) exposed me to an array of remarkable people; not the least of which was Karen from food services. She reminded me of the power of meaning.

Delinquency and opportunity:

I usually didn’t fill out my meal menu in a timely manner which required someone from food services to stop in and fill it out. Typically a young person stopped in. But one day Karen, a not so young person with pen and menu in hand, arrived.

A million dollar moment:

Any exchange with me borders on an interview. In typical fashion I asked her how long she had been in food services, etc. The million dollar moment arrived when I asked what she enjoyed about her job.

“Food makes people happy,” she said.

Purpose and engagement:

Casual observers think Karen fills out menus and delivers food. But she doesn’t.  She’s in the happiness business.

Success always includes making someone happy.

Karen is a rock star in my book. SH is lucky to have her on their team.

Purpose is the secret of engagement.

I wonder if her organization knows what makes Karen tick. If they do, they can fuel her fire, enrich her satisfaction, and retain her remarkable services.

Purpose and motivation:

Which statement best motivates Karen?

Thank you for delivering food in a timely, efficient manner.


Thank you for bringing a moment of happiness to people experiencing the trying days of a stay in the hospital, you make a difference.

What could someone say to you that affirms the meaning and purpose you embrace?