Recently I bumped into David in the supermarket carpark. I was working on the finishing touches of dinner for my kids and he was finishing up a phone call. We hadn’t caught up for nearly three years and in just a few minutes time we covered work, life and family. What I found interesting was his general disdain for the work he was doing. As far as I could see David was tolerating his role because of the safety net it gave him in the rest of his life. He finished our conversation by saying “I think they like me, I’m just not sure I like it.”
As I see it, that’s not good enough. Not FOR you, and frankly, not BY you.
A 2016 Survey of 4800 Australians by SEEK Learning found that half we’re unhappy with their jobs. Half. Imagine you have 20 staff. 10 turn up every single day wishing they were somewhere else.
What if you had two hundred staff? Two thousand? Twenty thousand? The morale, culture and productivity damage is untold. And can be addressed.
It’s time to recapture purpose and it's not as complicated as you think.
Purpose is knowing why you’re doing something and that what you’re doing really matters.
Purpose really matters. Not so deep down the people you do leadership with want to know their life matters, their work matters and that at some level, we are making a difference.
How do you keep purpose simple and powerful at the same time?
My belief is we make two mistakes when it comes to purpose. Firstly, we make it too large and idealistic that it stays just that. A dream that I can love the idea of but keep far enough away from me to create discomfort. Secondly, we complicate the process to purpose way more than we need to.
By answering these four questions you’ll make much of the progress you need to when it comes to purpose. They include:
What are your key responsibilities?
- I am married to Megan.
- I am the father of two children. Zarriah and Maddox.
- I have family. Siblings, parents, in laws and a sister in law.
- I have a circle of close friends.
- I have incredible clients.
On one level the why doesn’t matter when I am faced with the responsibilities of loving, leading, providing and caring for my family. They are there, day in and day out, like it or not. I consider it my first priority to love and lead my family in partnership with Megan. Period.
My responsibilities are the foundation of purpose because they are the key beneficiaries of my work and expertise. Knowing what I MUST do leads me to a place of what I CAN do. Purpose begins with your responsibilities. What has been entrusted to you that you need to step up in and work on behalf of?
What are your primary skills?
The longer I lead the more polarised I become. Not in the sense of politics, religion and gender equity but in the sense of what I am actually good at (and conversely what I am not good at).
I am good at just a few things. Just a few.
I am not good at a large number of things. That is a long and growing list.
What’s happened over twenty five years is the “good at list” has shrunk and the “not good at list” has grown. The benefit is this, focus is power. The more you focus, the more power you give your talents and skills.
To start discovering your leadership Talents join me HERE in my GiANT TV Leadership Community. It’s a brilliant place to get great feedback on your tendencies as a leader. When you sign on, you get 30 Days free. After that join me in the Netflix of Leadership.
What would you do for free?
In 1999 I was on holidays listening to Leadership Teaching by John C Maxwell. I finished the session and was debriefing with Megan and burst into tears. The commitment to serve, shape and develop leaders so deeply resonated with me I was undone. In the two decades since that teary session in Fiji nothing has changed. In fact, I am more committed to helping leaders, teams and organisations function more effectively. I’m building my future and practice around it.
I am FOR LEADERS and FOR LEADERSHIP – being purposeful and intentional about leadership capability, leadership cultures and leadership communication. I’ll give my best to that as long as I can.
Knowing your skills and abilities, acknowledging your passions, what would you do for free?
Do it so well people pay you for it.
Who will pay you for your answers?
In the movie The Wedding Singer, Adam Sandler is sitting in the Bank speaking with the Manager about a job. When asked to promote and position himself for the role he said, “I need money, I like money, that’s where you come in.”
Purpose is where your responsibilities, superpowers and passion intersect in a way that adds measurable value to the life of others.
Start there and move forward with passion and clarity.
This is for leaders. I am for leaders.