The Soul of a Team


Deanna Brown, Transformative Leader  /  Builder of Awesome Teams  /  Innovative Disruptor

As we gaze across the full horizon into 2021, a combination of reactions instantly unfolds. Hesitation. Frustration. Exhaustion. Worry. Anxiety. Our brows furrow. Our faces look like 😯  seriously stressed emojis. We step back, shake our heads and wonder how we’ll step into more unknown territory—that’s all it’s been this year, right? Unknown at a new level. Will the next year bring more difficulties or be a catalyst for new and better? It’s natural to feel concerned and weary at this stage—at a bare minimum. 2020 has been quite a year. We are regular ole humans after all.

What if, along with all of those tough emotions, we could also include feelings of curiosity? Intrigue. Empathy. Joy. Excitement. Appreciation. We are the sum of our parts. Those parts include emotions that jump-start actions. And what we ultimately do, becomes a manifestation of our daily world. What can we influence? What do we want to build? As regular ole humans we’re also wired to strive for better. To have hope, vision and a desire to improve ourselves and the world we live in.

As leaders, we can be assured that each of our team members throughout our organizations are faced with those thoughts at every turn. Never before have we been challenged at this level to handle home, family, personal and professional responsibilities like this year has been. The team member showing up at work—virtually or in-person—is a different human than 12 months ago. If you’re not observing that in them, you either have a serious blind spot, they’ve become highly adept at hiding it, or everyone is attempting to bury their head in the proverbial sand. Either way, I guarantee you it’s there. And those people are responsible for creating top and bottom line success in your company. They MATTER. What’s going on in their world matters. How they’re navigating the daily, matters. This is about the SOUL OF YOUR TEAM.

Countless things have changed this year in the workplace and at the top of the list is engagement. For years, it’s always been about how to get the “employee” engaged with the company’s mission, goals and product. Surveys, team-building exercises, cultural initiatives, production bonuses and pep talks. Now for the flip side. It’s time for companies to become invested in the goals, plans and passions of the very people they rely on for internal and external success. People are motivated, committed and highly productive when they fully recognize and feel that the company they give dozens of hours to each week, has an identifiable desire to help them live the life they are passionate about. Let’s get the two goals aligned.

Where would a leader start? By opening and supporting the soul of your team. The good news? This is an area that can be incredibly fun, creative and injects joy into the space.

Let’s begin by asking each team member what Mindvalley calls 3MIQs. Their organization is transforming the way we work and relate to each other and they’ve identified areas that speak volumes to meeting that objective. The MIQs are 3 question areas to define a personal vision. These are the areas where our passions, goals and desires create a life we truly know we’ve lived. These are designed to be 1:1 conversations.

  1. Create 3 open blocks on paper. Label them: Experience, Growth and Contribution
  2. Experience: we’re all here on this planet to create experiences for ourselves that are full of wonder, challenge, joy and learning.

Ask: What type of amazing experiences do you want to create for your life? BIG thinking is a requirement here. No holds barred. No BUTS, IF ONLYs or CAN’Ts. Really get the details painted into fully vibrant pictures. After all, happiness creates a productive, super-powered human.

  1. Growth: a never-ending quest to discover, to learn, to question and to accomplish.

Ask: to be the person who has these amazing experiences, in what ways would I need to grow to align everything? What are the topics? Who are the experts I can learn from? What will I read, watch and listen to? WHO do I want to become on this journey?

  1. Contribution: Giving is a key component to an extraordinary life.

Ask: As a person with phenomenal experiences in my life, where I’ve grown to new levels of thinking and behaving, what will I give back to the world that has supported my efforts and rewarded me in a multitude of ways?  What benefits others and the world we live in? How will I do that?

  1. Now, as the leader, you’ll want to keep each person’s responses at hand. You may even want to share them on a wall where all team members can contribute to the support of everyone’s goals. Look through them often. What can you do to help them move through each goal? Can you give them a book? Share a video? Offer a coaching session with an expert? Identify a mentor for them? You’re not fully getting to the goal just by asking the questions, you’ll need to find ways to continuously lift their journey.

The entire exercise should only take about 15 min—5 min for each category. Remember…this is crucial: the process is about helping your team member identify WHO they want to become—that’s the END goal. Don’t let this get confused with MEANS goals. Those are the goals that are very accomplishment-based. Certain amounts of income, title, degree, sales numbers, skills and abilities—you get the picture. The MIQs are conversations about lighting up the soul. When people put focused attention into their growth as a human, beautiful things happen. It allows them to expand and a lovely by-product is the expansion of everyone around them as well.

Mindvalley’s MIQs are the first steps into lighting up the soul of your team. The first steps to higher productivity, engagement and success. Diving deeply into states of well-being, creativity, purpose, team alignment and joy comes next. Stick with me as we hack our way to a new level of success. One valuable, dedicated, inspired team member at a time.




  1. Leslie Grossman on at 11:05 AM

    Thanks, Deanna, for your insights, as well as providing a tool all leaders can use.
    Your articles are always, inspirational and practical – all rolled into great advice.
    Thank you.

  2. Charlotte Porter on at 11:53 AM

    Great article, Deanna!

  3. Bryn Biren on at 4:47 PM

    The craziness that I see all around me just makes me want to dig in my heels and work harder to create things and encourage positivity. I will nor succumb to the lack of sensitivity and disregard for civility that I see around me.
    Deanna, I join you in working to make things better, not sulk in what is unjust and wrong!

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