“You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know, and you are the one who’ll decide where to go.” – Dr. Seuss
Perhaps you have heard the adage “Live your life with a purpose.” In my coaching and leadership roles I have sadly found that too many folks I have encountered seem to be living their lives without purpose and therefore without direction. This unfortunately equates to a loss of potential and more often than not dissatisfaction with life.
I am of the opinion that perhaps the most essential role of a leader is that of being a “people manager.” In order to gain the most from your employees they need to be getting the most out of their work and their efforts. The best way for them to attain that satisfaction, is to be able to come to work with a purpose, knowing that what they do makes a real difference. The best day of a person’s life is the day they truly know where they are headed. With that direction and a purpose that is their own, they truly have no one to lean on, to rely on or blame. Purpose is a gift that sends a person on an amazing journey filled with meaning, a journey toward personal responsibility and accountability.
Life is about choices; help your colleagues with theirs. Coach them to choose wisely. Start by directing them to consider the two most important guiding stars, their values and their mission. Push them to own their values and challenge them to be guided by their highest values in their work and life.
Secondly, ask them to commit to a mission for work and living. Make sure that you help them focus on keeping it clear, brief and exciting. Ask them, “What inspires or motivates you most?” “What activity, work or service to others do your core values cause you to pursue?” “What is your calling; what are your aims/goals in life?” I have found that most clients who are living without a clearly defined purpose are hard pressed to answer any of these questions. They will need time to think about them and perhaps assistance digging into them.
I truly believe you can make this element of people management a turning point in the lives of those you coach, mentor and supervise. In a sense, it will help them to leap over an abyss of meaninglessness, non productivity and dissatisfaction to the other side where they can dive into life and their careers with earnestness. For many it will be a moment of truth, for others only a brief awakening. It is your job as a people manager to not allow them to fall back asleep but instead to offer them a real glimpse of what can be and how they can find the compass that will lead them to purpose and fulfilling life and career. It’s worth effort.
“My mission is to collect all the world’s information and make it accessible to everyone.” – Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google