I see many people crave for more meaning at work. And think that to do that they need to work for an NGO or set up their own business.
The irony is that I have worked with NGOs and entrepreneurs. And often they feel disconnected from meaning too. So if it isn’t ‘location’ then what is the recipe for meaning at work?
The core shift is this... to understand that meaning is about your level of self-expression at work and your ability to influence your environment with it.
So the real question is not 'where do you need to go?'
But instead 'how can you nurture, express and realise your unique potential more? And through that have an impact that is positive and that you care about?'
Here are three ways to reintroduce meaning in your work right now:
1. Make it personal
Work becomes meaningless because we disconnect from ourselves in the process. We leave ourselves at the door.
We stop listening in to how we feel and what...
I remember when I was a lawyer that I used to spend most of my life in the office.
Often my mum would call me there. I would tell her I was busy and that I would call her back. The thing is I never did…
After I had done my re-conversion she owned up as to how much that had hurt.
When I used to teach resilience to lawyers, I would tell that story to stony faced high achievers. They wouldn’t flinch. But at the end of the session when I would ask what action they would take … it always involved making a phone call.
The Busyness Trap
Busyness has become a badge of honour, a sign of achievement. It seems that everybody is overly busy and... exhausted.
At the end of last year, I decided I wanted to be less busy in my work. I realised that there was a big difference between being busy and adding real value in a meaningful way.
With my clients the first and incredibly hard step seems to be to stop the busyness...
I have spent the last two days immersed in disruption and what it takes. I was at a client’s offices preparing to coach their leaders on disrupting their own industry.
I was awed by the level of courage and leadership they are stepping into. It is vulnerable, it is raw, it is a step into the pure unknown... and at the same time so exciting and inspiring. They are planting seeds to unleash unbounded creative potential within their organisation.
Did I say it takes courage?!
It had me reflect on the current insanity of the world and ask: 'What if instead of changing the world, we actually need to disrupt it?' And what would that mean in practice?
What is disruption?
Imagine a caterpillar... change means getting to be a better caterpillar...disruption means becoming a butterfly...
Ultimately disruption takes us beyond our existing frame of reference. It acknowledges that as Einstein said: 'You cannot solve a problem at the same level of consciousness you...
I had an interesting experience at the week-end. I was walking with a friend by the lake in Montreux (a small town near where I live). As I walked past, I noticed that a bin was smoking - with a smouldering fire inside. I didn't have any water on me nor a container to carry water from the lake. So I tried to engage passers by to help.
It was an interesting experiment... no-one was willing to help. It is like it had nothing to do with them... and they looked at me as if I was very weird to even take it on ...
In many ways it was symbolic of what is going on at a bigger level in our world.
Greta Thunberg is calling for us to treat climate change as an emergency - like the world was on fire. Looking at what is happening in the world around us one thing is clear...things need to change. The question is who will change it?
An interesting paradox...
It is like this paradox, we know things are not working. But for the most part we keep plodding...