In 1988, a woman, looking through her loft, discovered a secret about activities that her husband had performed 5 decades ago.
This lady was the wife of Nicholas Winton, a Briton who organized the rescue of 669 children, mostly Jewish, in former Czechoslovakia, before they were deported to Nazi concentration camps, saving them from certain death in 1939, before the beginning of the Second World War. For his achievements he was often called “British Schindler”, in reference to Oskar Schindler (his story can be found on the Internet and also in a 2002 Slovak documentary directed by Matej Mináč, called Nicholas Winton: The Power of Good).
Many things impressed me when I read about Sir Nicholas Winton.
In addition to not disclosing his incredible humanitarian work, I was wondering about the difficulties he had to help those children.
Think what the world was like in 1939! Just to help: The first submarine cable that allowed long distance phone calls would only be installed 17 years later, in 1956.
Can you imagine the communication difficulties that existed in 1939?
How to coordinate such a complicated logistics operation?
Furthermore, World War II was about to begin. Even the ninth train, with 250 children, was unable to leave because, in September 1939, as the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. These children were never seen again.
How to explain the high performance achieved by Sir Nicholas Winton, in the face of such a large task, with so few resources and in the face of such an adverse scenario?
In his book Primed to Perform, Neel Doshi spells out three reasons that contribute to high performance, one of them is the Purpose!
The Purpose motive occurs when you do an activity because you value the result of the activity (versus the activity itself). You may or may not like the work you do, but you value its impact.
And the question you may be asking now is – How do I create, how do I communicate the Purpose to my organization? What characteristics should this Purpose have?
Among the Amphibious Commandos, we use a greeting – AUICA! – which I want to use as an acronym to help you answer these questions.
The Purpose must have 5 characteristics:
Authentic – Do not flaunt a “grand” Purpose that is not really based on your true intentions. Besides not working, it will only make things worse.
Unique – Your organization is unique! The Purpose must also be. The greater your differential, the more powerful it will be.
Inspiring – The Purpose needs to inspire the members of your organization, it needs to be connected with your deepest values.
Shared – (Compartilhado, in Portuguese) People on “your bus” need to share this Purpose, you need to share it with everyone. Allocate your resources to this.
Achievable – No profit, no mission! There is no way to achieve a Purpose if you do not generate the resources necessary to achieve it.
In the midst of this scenario that the pandemic has placed on us, AUICA Purpose organizations will be able to create the necessary conditions for their collaborators to be able to help them overcome any obstacles, just as the “British Schindler” did to save those 669 children!