I’ve been struggling with purpose of late at work. In my home life, my purpose is clear. We have kids in school and we want to enable them to be successful in the path they choose for their own lives. We talk to our five- and nine-year olds about the options, pros, cons and potential long-term consequences. My wife and I realize we won’t get it perfect but through our open discussions we hope we can help establish good direction with solid intentions. My wife and I are also working on what happens after kids and career so we don’t get blindsided with abrupt change when the kids start taking their own steps in life.
Work is a bit different. I work in an environment of competing constraints, directions and intent. There’s no common vision or organizing principle. There’s a general sense of lack of worth and little support for activities that do not directly relate to revenue generation like improvement. As the management representative, the battles waged to drive improvement over the last couple years have taken their toll leaving me weary and drained. Looking forward is difficult when the focus is reacting to daily issues and personnel who resist change due to being uncomfortable with the unknown or different approaches to work. My own core philosophy about quality and success being an emergent property of properly executed business principles and processes is shaken but not stirred.
Recently, I shared my state of mind and position with my management peers and found support and sympathetic ears. Someone shared their experience of driving change over years in another organization and set up something to help bring together appropriate leaders at our company to discuss and decide on what to do about our situation. What I learn from this is simple. We are not alone in our fight to improve our situation, our work place or environment. We’re not alone despite our delusional attempts to convince ourselves we are. It’s important to have the integrity and accountability to wage the battles important to us. When we are fatigued and even defeated, simply sharing our feelings and thoughts can reveal others who are working to the same end or at least similar intentions. Open communication even when it reveals our organizations are the barriers to our own success is critical to not only businesses but us as individuals. Certainly it can be hard to share what’s going on mentally and emotionally with other, but by doing so, we enable ourselves to make things better.
For me, sharing my situation with my peers took enough of the load off to enable me to remember what’s important in the biz of me. My purposes are being served by the work I do. My job is just that, a job. My work is the means by which I can create the life I’ve chosen with my family. If I push change so much lose my job then so be it. If that happens, I’ll know I’ve acted with integrity and am accountable for my decisions and actions. Furthermore, my personal purpose remains a foundation in my life no matter what job I may invest my time in. Writing about the biz of you is another one of my purposes in life. If even one person finds benefit from the ideas posted here at www.bizofyou.com then I’ve accomplished my goal. In this I will have served a purpose beyond myself.
Thanks for taking the time to read a few words today. Next time, I’ll continue the OODA discussion with part 4 which includes a link to my martial arts blog post about the Eye See Hand Do Connection which has an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “To Be or Not to Be” speech in Hamlet. “To be or to do that is the question . . .” captures some of the spirit of my recent mental musings related to my work weariness.
As always, find the connections and have some fun with it!