Have we lost our ability to ask the big questions in pursuit of answers to the little ones?
Instead of “Why am I here?” we now ask questions like “How can I get ahead?”
We’ve become such a quick-fix society that we don’t recognize those quick fixes are just band-aids and won’t do anything for the long-term health of our very souls.
Of course this is a sweeping generalization. However, if we only listen to the loudest voices, we wouldn’t be entirely crazy for believing this is the attitude and stance for many in our government, our schools, our religious organizations, and our businesses.
Given those four institutions, it seems the biggest opportunity for a deeper conversation and more positive advancement is in the business sector, since it is where most people spend most of their waking hours. (For clarification: I include not-for-profit organizations in this “business” category.)
In studying the book Awakening Corporate Soul: Four Paths to Unleash the Power of People at Work, I’ve become very encouraged about the possibilities for rediscovering commitment, passion, and performance at work.
What kind of questions are you hearing and asking at your place of employment? Are they coming from a place of victim energy or are they leading you to higher ground? Are you taking responsibility for those questions and conversations that happen around you? If you are, you are part of the solution. If you’re not, you’re part of the problem.
There is such a fine line between standing for your idea and ideals and fighting against someone else’s. We’re so used to jockeying for position that we’re convinced no one will notice our character unless we’re boasting about it.
The truth is that your reputation is not in your control. Others will talk about you. But it’s your true character – what you do and who you are even when no one is watching – that will eventually come through.
You may be thinking: “But that’s soft. That’s touchy-feely. That’s wimpy.”
Maybe so in the world we’ve come to know right now. But it’s amazing what a small group of committed people can accomplish when all are rowing in the same direction, and if they don’t care who gets the credit. When the outcome is more important than who had the idea, that’s when greatness just seems to happen. Of course we know it’s far more complicated than that, but because true commitment to an outcome is so rare in our microwave society, we don’t have as many opportunities to witness it as we might. (Good news, though: Insert any one of a number of stories about the new Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles here.)
In his book The Soft Edge: Where Great Companies Find Lasting Success, author Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine and a native of Bismarck, ND (I just had to add that for effect) shows us that a company’s values, alongside strategy and execution, have allowed several of his example companies to fuel growth as well as weather hard times. These are the elements that make up a company’s “soft edge.”
If you’re not talking about and living out your company values, you’re missing a huge opportunity to move from a strictly transactional business to one that honors its corporate soul.
If you’re in the Fargo-Moorhead area, consider joining me on Thursday, February 22 from 11:30 – 1:00 for a free overview of the Extreme Leadership platform where I’ll introduce you to Steve Farber’s work and show you what a culture of Love, Energy, Audacity, and Proof might look like.
Are you ready to bring more of yourself to the place you work without fear? Let’s talk.