What has been your experience of “work”?
It is a well-known fact that the vast majority (many studies report upwards of 65%) of people in the U.S. workforce are unhappy in their jobs…ranging from “a lack of meaning and fulfillment” to actually “hating” their work.
We find an entirely different attitude among people who see their work as the expression of their design through their personal leadership. They may find it hard to break away from their work because they're fully engaged. While they experience difficulties like everyone else, they are not as easily discouraged because they are working out of an authentic sense of their work as “vocation”. For example, they view the challenging people in their workplace as catalysts for their learning and growth. Sound impossible? It's not! It’s “personal leadership”.
Personal Leadership is the ability and desire to focus your thinking and to establish a clear direction for your own life. It includes the courage, choice, and commitment to move in that direction by taking intentional action. Here the term is used to describe the basic elements that need to be in place for authentic living and high performance results.
One way to explain personal leadership is to define the term and the principles involved; another is to observe and listen to people who are working in what they consider to be their authentic vocation and true calling.
Parker Palmer, in his book Let Your Life Speak says: “Discovering vocation (calling and purpose) does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of true self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice ‘out there’ calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice ‘in here’ calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given to me at birth”.
Work that meets this standard emanates from people's personal leadership and allows them to be who they truly are while doing what they most love and feel passionate about…and with excellence!
What is your attitude about “work”. If you are confused about your “career”, reflect also about the state of your personal leadership?
NEXT BLOG: Is the traditional concept of “career” still useful? If not, then what?