04 Jan Leadership: Enjoy your Work! (Purpose)
An ancient wise King wrote, “there is a time for every event under heaven…a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted…”
2017 is upon us and no doubt, work goals are being set in place. We love to “implement” at our jobs – getting things done. We enjoy planting and seeing things grow. We desire to lead, be extremely productive and provide superior customer service. We want to be consistently engaged. We live in a measured “executing” culture that defines our success with stats. Organizational expectations are high and budgets are locked-in. Our crops must be ready to reap.
Have a thought starting this new year…
Uproot the old plants, look inside yourself and clarify.
Turnover your fields from last year (maybe fallow ground, as well), pause, and properly prepare for a fresh harvest. This starts with “you” getting a bearing on purpose. Purpose is the reason you do the things you do. It’s about the “who you are” and your “being”. People who understand and apply purpose in their lives enjoy their work. They are internally driven to fulfill their calling and destiny. Purpose generates sound motives and marketplace views, appreciates human diversity and connections, stimulates a need to contribute, defines ethical positions, and sustains momentum for work endeavors. With purpose, leaders are confident and motivated – within – for excellence.
Purpose infuses your most cherished values and influences everything you do. It pursues a higher calling that drives, directs, and devotes time and energy for helping others and finding joy in all work. For those who share “belief”, faith can inspire greater purpose for work excellence.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov) stated, “the mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for”.
Purpose is what we live for. It’s a most valuable compass for direction at work, in developing human relationships and enjoying life.
Want to prepare your fields wisely?
Here are three questions – prompting to keenly reflect on your purpose at work:
1. What is the deeper meaning in life (your true intentions) that resonates for work excellence? Why do you come back to till, plant, weed, and harvest every year? This meaning is “soul deep”; keeping you anchored and hopeful during the drought, freezing temperatures, hail and heat. You walk away with a contented soul no matter what the outcome.
Your response with question one will have a percolating influence on the next two questions…
2. How would you describe your motivation for life and work? The fields take time to prepare. It’s hard work. It requires determination and patience during the seasons. Lay out all your motivations and then prioritize. These motives are internally or externally driven; pushing you forward to do your best work. Motivations help oil the tractor wheels for smoother transitions and produce satisfying sweat on the brow.
3. What is your passion? Frame-up the inspiring cause that fires you up everyday.Passion is the invisible emotion that energizes and intensifies your work. It excites and keeps your outlook aflame. Internally driven; it could it be connecting emotionally to an enduring cause or contributing to something bigger than yourself. Your ardent desire is to do what deeply and habitually resonates in your head, heart, and streams through your hands.
Outline your unique purpose as your own personal mission statement. Dig deep. Your personal written declaration provides a resilient muscular framework for your approach to work. Some call it a blue-print for work fullfillment. As a leader, tasks and relationship building will take on new meaning and you will stay engaged to overcome doubt, fear and obstacles in a refreshed way.
I used to work with an Executive Vice President in a Fortune 500 company, who said it best on how purpose was played out in his life, “at the end of the day, I drive home and think about my role. I would ask myself…did I help anyone improve with the quality of his/her work, enhance their customer service or help them increase productivity? If I can name the person and how he/she became better, that made my day complete”.
Purpose inspires us to walk through our company doors each morning with a passionate mission. It leads us with stirring composure and confidence. We finish each day, well…even upon a sea of unpredictable change.
Time to uproot the old plants, realign purpose, and wake up everyday internally energized to plant a fruitful crop for a new year.
We reap what we sow. Devotion to our purpose is a beneficial first step to enjoy our work.