In addition, you take a deep-dive into understanding yet another Professional Why. Why you are doing What you are doing in the manner in which you are doing it. Got that?
Otherwise, you are spinning your professional wheels.
Far too many of the folks I coach are chasing goals to prove something.
However, my question becomes: Who are you really proving something to? Initially, the rationale becomes an excuse or a reaction or playing the blame game.
Professional goal-chasing tends to focus on showing someone else “just what” you can accomplish. That “someone else” may be a manager, a colleague, a partner, a child or a parent. Think: “I’ll show you!”
Think again. How healthy is that type of motivation?
In reality, dig a little bit deeper, please. What is the ultimate focus of your actions and activities? Are you simply proving the validity of your goals to yourself, over and over again?
Are your actions self-justification? If so, for what purpose? Because, the reason behind your purposeful actions is Your Professional Why.
Defining Your Professional Why is thought-based instead of action-based.
No matter what your field of professional endeavor, think about how you spend the majority of your waking hours. Chances are you are doing instead of thinking about the thought structure, ethics and values underpinning what you are doing.
It is undeniable: lots and lots of doing is both exciting and noisy. However, it is easy to become caught up in the whirlwind of other people’s expectations of you. Sooner or later, the expectations of others subtly replaces your own expectations.
At the very least, flailing away at being all sorts of things to all sorts of people is equated with at least a quantitative definition of productivity. Perhaps social media validation also is involved. Then there is professional and economic validation, justified by honors, awards, certifications and compensation.
So why not stick to fulfilling other people’s expectations? It seems to be working, so far.
However, over the long haul, defining Your Professional Why is all about self-disruption.
While you may be engaged in a job you love, or hate, the sum total of busy-ness involved in each day leaves you little time for determining whether or not What You Do is fulfilling. When you fulfill other people’s expectations each day, a gap is created between What Fulfills Them and What Fulfills You.
The gap between Your Professional What and Your Professional Why creates that nagging voice inside your head that there may be Something More you should be doing. Differently.
Consider whether, or not, you frequently bemoan a perceived half-empty glass to others, rather than looking to yourself for answers. Alternatively, consider the value of looking forward to completely filling a glass that starts off empty at the beginning of each new day. That second scenario is all about leadership, in my Playbook.
In fact, have you filled up so many empty glasses, that you revel in how much you learn about Your Professional Why, each and every day?
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken is a refreshingly extroverted STEM professional and skeptical thinker focused on intentional innovation. She helps people, teams and organizations make hard calls when designing products, services, careers and cultures. These are not easy conversations to have. Her ability to translate cross-functional conversations between left-brain and right-brain thinkers provides different pathways for behavior, response, insight and collaboration. Think of the strategic business and human capital value of moving beyond avoidance or group-think, together. Instead, let your creativity, critical thinking, and leadership skills co-develop together, one millimeter at a time. She is a member of ASQ, SHRM, PMI, and the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.