Being an Organizational Evangelist
All of us have heard that we must “speak for” or have “elevator speeches” armed at the ready so that we can share the great things about the companies for which we work. Most of us can speak to the brands, services and products offered by our organizations. Some of us can also provide stories about the good work the company does to support employees or the community; but, few of us are evangelists for our organizations.
What does it mean to be an evangelist for your company? Being an evangelist means advocating and “spreading the word” of the company. Being an evangelist goes beyond liking your company; it is cheerleading, promoting, and actively engaging with others on the uniqueness of your organization.
What Do You Know?
Why do you work for your organization? Of course all of us need a paycheck, but does the mission, vision, and values of the organization speak to you? Do you know the organization’s mission? Do you know the values the organization? Do these things resonate with you? Can you speak passionately from your heart about the organization? If you answered yes, then you are on your way to being an organizational evangelist.
How Do You Speak About the Company to Family, Friends, and Co-workers?
“It’s just a job,” “I try to fly under the radar,” do these phrases sound familiar to you? Have you heard family, friends, or co-workers say these things about their jobs? Have you said it about your job? If so, evaluate these feelings. These feelings are real, and they permeate everything you do in the workplace. Executives, managers, and co-workers know when you are “checked-out.” Deepak Chopra states, “Our minds influence the key activity of the brain, which then influences everything; perception, cognition, thoughts and feelings, personal relationships; they’re all a projection of you.” Being an evangelist requires that one be present in the moment and aware of the opportunities just around the corner. When your mind is occupied with “flying under the radar,” you are not present and you are not open to opportunities.
What Do you Bring to the Table?
When engaged in a conversation do you find the million and one reasons why something cannot or will not work? Is there always someone or something in your way? Try looking at every problem as an opportunity in disguise. Approaching a situation with a mindset of possibility thinking invites collaboration, cooperation, and partnership. When faced with your next problem, be mindful of your thought process. Reframing the “problem” as an opportunity allows you to become part of the solution, which in turn provides an avenue for you to promote your company.
Are you Accountable?
Do you hold yourself accountable? Do you ask what you can do more, better, different? In order to be an evangelist, you have to hold a mirror up to your actions and behavior. You must be willing to work to get better. Being an evangelist means that you cannot be rooted in old ways of behavior or thinking. Being rooted invites complacency which does not lead to passionate engagement or the pursuit of excellence. I encourage you to welcome the naysayers, and those who may criticize you. These are the people who will challenge your thinking, question your motives, and provide you with the energy to push forward. Do not look at these people as standing in your way; they are your champions in disguise because they are forcing you to get better. In short, let your haters be your motivators!
Are You Courageous?
Are you courageous enough to give serious thoughts to your patterns of thought? Can you hold a mirror up to yourself and challenge your own behaviors? Being an organizational evangelist requires a commitment to change, and change is hard. Moreover, it requires one to be mindful and aware that thoughts and actions have ripple effects. You cannot be a force for good, or an evangelist for the organization, if your thoughts and actions are centered on negativity and defeat.
Being an organizational evangelist does not mean walking around with rose colored glasses. To be an evangelist requires that one stand in the eye of the storm and embrace the possibilities that exist beyond the horizon. Adopting the role of organizational evangelist is not for the faint of heart. Those who are called to serve in role must be armed with knowledge, a willingness to be accountable, and above all else, courage.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.