On Purpose

Photo by  Fritz Bielmeier  on  Unsplash

Photo by Fritz Bielmeier on Unsplash

Happy new year to you — are you back at work yet, or are you still enjoying some time away for the holidays?

Our office isn't opening until next week — we decided to take a long break during these holidays, to spend with family and friends.

I’ve spent a heap of time driving along the coast of the state of Victoria and Tasmania with my children.

I won't be back in the office until the 25th of January, as I'll be in Athens running our Innovation Culture Program with a great tech business which is head-quartered there. I’m looking forward to working with over 100 employees who are going to fly into Athens from around the world, for one of the sessions I’m facilitating as part of this program.

Enrolments for The Strategy Masterclass are still open for both the one-month or unlimited access courses. 2018 saw the course assets evolve and update substantially. I’ve had such an amazing response to this course and it has been quite overwhelming to see how much. I’ll be closing enrolments soon as I learn from the students who are doing the course, update it and relaunch it sometime in the future.

I’ll be designing new teaching tools this year - if there’s something specific you’d like to see, just reply.

Needless to say, 2019 is starting off at a pace already.

But I love this time of year. It’s reflective and motivating. Filled with the opportunity to reinvent ourselves and our businesses. To start the unstarted and move the immovable.

A friend emailed me today asking if I’d like to spend a day developing one another’s personal purpose and plan for the year ahead. He suggested we share one another’s vision, aspirations, numbers and metrics - and help each other develop a plan, and put in measures to ensure that what we do this year, and why we do it, is true to our own personal purpose.

He expanded and said that we might explore where this year’s collaborations might come from, as through collaboration we enrich our own practices.

I agree with this whole-heartedly.

He suggested we also spend time during this day, interrogating our own sense of purpose to ensure it is true to who we are and respects those closest to us. And finally he added that we might look to create support mechanisms for one another to ensure we get through the year, and beyond, in a way that brings our purpose to life.

I was floored. Someone emailed me asking to support me! Someone asked to help me realise things that exist only in my head.

What a sobering reminder this email was for me.

Now, I’m very grateful to have a friend such as this. Believe me, I’ve had people in my life who have called themselves friends, but would never dream of suggesting such an intimate, personal and of course purposeful meeting.

It was remarkable. Wonderful. It set the bar high. Very high.

It was a reminder that I shouldn’t waste time on anything less. And that in fact, at times, I do.

It was a reminder that my purpose, my very personal reason for doing what I do and why I do it, should be my focus. It should be the lense through which I make all my decisions; partnerships, clients, employees, collaborators, peers, industry-colleagues, friends. The people I choose to follow on Twitter!

It should allow me to say ‘no’ to things and people that don’t serve me. In life and in business.

It should be the lense through which I make all of my decisions - where my business is going, why it is going there, which competitors I watch, and if I watch competitors at all; which industry bodies I support, with whom I work with and with whom I do not.

In an industry of creativity; an industry that is in flux because it rides the wave of change, and always will because it sits on the very edge of what it is deemed to be innovative, we hear a lot of noise. Like the static on a radio when you’ve almost dialed the correct station but it’s not quite there yet.

Incomprehensible babble.

Complaints without solutions.

Fake leaders.

Average work parading itself as meaningful.

Social media celebrities.

Irony champions.

Speakers not doers.

Beauty parades.

Our sense of purpose needs to filter all of this out and allow the good, the compassionate and the meaningful to rise to the top.

I’m grateful for my friend’s invitation - and you can be sure I’ll be taking it up.