Bridging Leadership Lessons from the Workplace and Those Experiences Shaping Today's Youth and Tomorrow's Leaders
Recently, it seems like I have had a multitude of discussions that have been focused on purpose and why. These conversations have run the gamut of co-workers to family, from sports to life. Simon Sinek has written, “Find Your Why” and given talks on this subject to millions of people. It is in demand because many are trying to connect with their greater purpose. They look at their lives and think there must be more.
Viktor Frankl, a Jewish-Austrian holocaust survivor, wrote the bestseller, Man’s Search for Meaning, which became the foundation of his logotherapy movement. There were several passages of his book that really hit home for me that supported the premise that it is our search for meaning that fuels us as humans to find success. He wrote, “We had to stop asking what we wanted from life and instead what life wanted from us.”
Much has been written about the younger generation seeking instant impact and gratification. Not satisfied with putting in time and showing that through hard work and dedication, that they deserve the promotion. They want the promotion and then will show what they can do. But this isn’t a generation thing, as this is something I have observed throughout my lifetime.
People spend time changing jobs, changing partners, changing hobbies trying to fill some void and to find themself. Maybe while they spend all the time “searching”, they are missing out on actually finding their purpose. Frankl wrote, “Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue.”
I have written before about the power of a vision whether in the 3 Pillars of Impact or in leading a team, Losing Site of Your Vision. The importance of staring at the horizon, keeping your site on where you are going and not letting what is in front of you serve as an obstacle . The risk you have about focusing on the vision, on the dream, is that you lose awareness of what is in front of and around you.
What happened to making the most of what you have? Of where you are? Of what you are doing? Happiness and satisfaction are not always something that is found through searching. Sometimes it is created, not by others, but by you.
When having discussions with my kids and they are feeling stressed about not knowing what they want to do with the rest of their life, I tell them that very few people know. Early on, my daughter knew that she wanted to work with young kids that needed extra guidance and attention to support their development. Her “why” was in front of her and she is pursuing it today.
I asked my kids if they really thought that when I was a young kid that I laid in bed at night dreaming about leading operations in a chemical manufacturing company? Your purpose is more than your job, your why is more than what you are doing at a given moment in time. Frankl shared that there is a difference when people finally understand their purpose, “Once he knows the why for his existence, will be able to bear almost any how.”
Sometimes you realize that your why is already inside of you and what you need is to find ways to bring it out into the light. To not only represent what you are doing, but to motivate and inspire what you are doing. Sometimes, you need to take a break from focusing on the future and instead focus on what you have today. Explore what you already have and what you already do and then take the time to understand who you are today and how you can impact what more you can do Beyond Today.
Tom Brown - a husband and a father who is simply trying to make a difference. Using my experience as a Manufacturing Executive to connect leadership from the boardroom to the hardwood to help teams grow and develop to make a difference in the lives of others.