I’m often asked what the most important role of a leader at mLevel is. A lot of aspects of the role are important – we need happy customers, great people and superior products. Leaders are involved in all of those things. But to me the most important role of a leader at mLevel is to provide meaning within the organization. Although the “m” in mLevel has several references, it is not coincidental that “meaning” is one of the more important ones.
Meaning is critical to the culture of our organization and to what we provide to our clients. Everyone here, including myself, has a need to understand how their contributions relate to the overall goals of the organization. We need to know that our work has value to our business, to our customers and hopefully to the world.
So the next question I get is typically “how do you do that?” Meaning really comes down to three interconnected components – Vision, Values and Purpose. I’ll do a separate post on each of these, but will provide a high-level summary here.
Vision – Simply put, vision is a collective aspirational view of the future. For mLevel, we have a vision of the future where learning can be engaging, fun and effective. We believe empowering people to grow their knowledge will be a major driver of self-empowerment, professional growth, career satisfaction and ultimately business performance. All of this contributes to meaning for our users. Our vision for the future underlies all of our long-term actions. It also serves as a guiding light as we navigate day-to-day challenges.
Values – Values help us align on what is important. For mLevel, it defines how we treat each other and our customers. It defines our culture. Our values are:
- Make Every Customer Successful
- Create Better Realities through Innovation
- Work and Play as a Team
- Be Easy to Work With
- Fail Fast, Learn, then Improve
We balance all of our actions against these values. They also serve as an important barometer for how we recruit new team members.
Purpose – Our purpose defines why we exist. It is tightly related to our vision and our values. Our purpose helps define how we want to achieve our vision and our values define the way we want to do it. Purpose ties it all back together. We need to understand our purpose. It’s a natural human need. We strive at mLevel to make sure everyone is aligned with and understands the vision and values and that they understand their purpose in helping make that vision a reality.
Our purpose at mLevel is to help people achieve their full potential and find their own meaning through easier learning that’s more engaging, more fun and more effective.
It’s not always easy, but seeing a team that has meaning is a powerful experience. Building meaning into our culture starts with our leaders and involves everyone in our organization. We hold each other accountable, we understand our vision, values and purpose, and we live them in our interactions with one another and our clients. Our leaders set that tone, but we all live it.