A Sense of Purpose

Today’s topic is one that is discussed frequently as a leadership topic, providing a sense of purpose.  I take credit for this not in my workplace, but in the work that my two son’s began this weekend. 

Allow me to table set for a moment.  First of all, they are both A students in high school.  One has been accepted to his dream college on early admission, but is keeping his options open as before he fully commits as he has a desire to play baseball at the collegiate level.  My other son is a sophomore who is definitely coming into his own personality and is very focused in his own right.  They are both focused on being successful in school, but at times it seems they are satisfied with doing enough to stay ahead of their peers.

They began assisting a family friend this weekend on a new business venture that they are assisting him with market research on.  What a better source on how social media is influencing people than with a couple of teenagers.  A great idea for my friend, plus it provide some valuable work experience that allows them not to come home covered in hamburger grease.  A win-win in my book.

Here is the leadership lesson.  They came home fired up and motivated to do well (after a 9AM meeting on a Saturday morning), not just because there was money involved, but they were talking about all the potential they saw and wanted to become part of a greater purpose.  They understood the value of what they were doing and the impact it would have on our friends business.

In our own workplace, are including in our day to day activities a way to integrate a sense of purpose into our culture?  While there are may be a variety of roles and responsibilities in our environments, are we taking the time to make sure that our teams and organizations understand the value of each persons contribution to the “why” we are in business.

I am fortunate, I get to share a story of contribution and success with the rest of the organization I work for in the morning.  Daily my team shares encouragement and stories of success with each other.  As a result, the team has a shared sense of purpose and value.  They support and encourage each other and motivate our leadership to want to do more for them on a daily basis.  At the end of the day, having the shared purpose, creates a shared vision of what success looks like, and we work on it daily.

Take a few minutes this week to recognize those you work with.  Tell stories, because you want to, not because you have to.  They will be much more meaningful to the recipient than if you are going through the motions and simply checking a box.

Have a great week!

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Leadership Lessons from Mom

On this Mother’s Day it is important to remember the CFO’s in our lives.  That is Mom, the Chief Family Officer.  I first heard this term on a commercial on the radio, and today on Mother’s Day it seems appropriate for remembrance of these unsung hero’s.

From the day that each of us are born, typically it is our Mom’s that not only provide nurturing, but also provide us guidance through the good times and bad.  When tough decisions need to be made, we turn to Mom.  When financial decisions need to be made, we need Mom’s blessings.  Through our years, it is our Mother’s that have the hope their development of us will allow us to reach our full potential. 

As a Chief Family Officer, Mom really has final say over Dad, whether he wants to admit it or not.  Dad’s will take their direction from Mom and each child understands the hierarchy in the family can make what decisions.  As we progress past High School and into College and the workforce, we translate the understanding of who decision makers are in the workplace.  We gain an understanding that the professional organization, much like a familial organization, must have a person who is truly looking our for the best interests of each individual and the organization as whole.  In most families, Mom is this person.

As each person embarks on their careers, we remember the lessons of our family organization.  How tough decisions are made, how we communicate with one another, when to play, and when to be focused.  The business organization is one that we spend 40+ hours per week at and where we need to effectively communicate, make tough decisions, work hard, and play hard with our professional family.

At the end of the day, we learn more about how to interact with others through watching the interactions of our mother’s.  We are successful, as a result of the drive and desire to succeed that our mother’s instill in us.  Think about how your first interaction with a CFO was really your mother, the Chief Family Officer.
Today, I leave you with some quotes and thoughts…  Remember your Mother today on this Mother’s Day.

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs… since the payment is pure love. ~Mildred B. Vermont

Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever. ~Author Unknown

I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life. ~Abraham Lincoln