Monday, January 30, 2012


In building his organizational mission, Tony Hsieh was wise enough to ask all his employees one question...Why? He evolved Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs into the Happiness model. The questions Tony asked of those he interviewed got to the core of what they really wanted. He believed one's professional goals, aspirations for personal entertainment, and mission to serve those they loved were central to one purpose...

To Be Happy!

In his book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek introduced the golden circle. The general premise, "people don't buy what you do they buy why you do it". You may have a great may help people toggle their social platforms more effectively, but WHY are you in business? What is the center of your circle?

What is YOUR WHY?

You exist in a Cluster.....your work, family and hobbies are interconnected by one thing: YOUR WHY

In order to find synergy among the seemingly unrelated things that make up your cluster, you have to find your WHY. These are the elements of your life....the petals to your flower....Your WHY is at the center of it all.

Are You Present in the Moments In-Between?
We work hard to develop opportunities to experience happiness. We are in search of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We put in long hours to afford family vacations, a gift for the wife, and/or the newest gadget for the kids.....none of it matters! We find happiness not in the things we pursue but in the things that remind us to stop chasing what is not there. Moments in the park on a Tuesday afternoon bring us greater meaning than the sweet 16 party that cost us half of our bonus. To recognize and to be present in the moments in-between is the true path to discovering what is genuinely important.

You might sell a data management tool (that is the 'what'). You may have an uncanny knack for developing efficient and cost effective data management processes for your clients (that is the 'how'). Your mission for being in business is your WHY. It's not about the products you make or how you bring them to market. It's your purpose on this earth and how it relates to your business persona that matters most.

If your purpose is clearly defined and you are passionate about your mission; profits come naturally. If you are passionate in your purpose you need not force solutions where they do not exist or to act out of character. If you are engaged in what you do you can connect humans instead of grinding numbers.

Find Your Tribe
Align yourself with your boss - the person for whom you work wants you to succeed! If it seems otherwise, look in the mirror. Are you being forced to do something you wish not to do or are you making it difficult for your leader to lead? Hiding from your professional superior will not make him/her go away. Develop a plan that will help you mutually succeed and devote yourself to it. Communication built on trust drives high level relationships. If you fail without asking for help you cut your safety net.

Connect with your support staff - there are people in other departments with whom you will need to work. The people with whom you work may be less intelligent than you, they may not work as hard as you do and they may be less motivated than you are.....that is not an excuse to berate them. Instead of passing tasks and asking for accountability, you should empower and help others find purpose in what they do. At the very least - always say please and thank you!

3 Friends - find 3 friends at work. These need not be people in your department or division. Consult third party observers with whom you can share your professional experiences and gain insight. A variety of viewpoints helps you form a grander perspective. Without a formalized relationship in place people are more forthcoming and candid in their advice.

What are the Metrics of the Space Between?
How much is your free time worth?

We often devalue ourselves by allowing the things we do not want to do to drain our focus and energy. We neglect to imagine that the most important time is not spent on the clock but off it. Your most profound inspiration will happen not within your cubicle but on a path in the park.

How are you spending your free time?

You must choose between what you want to do and what you have to do (and prioritize accordingly). Stress is a result of inelegant goal setting. If you are only driven by the mandatory directives of others, you will never be happy. The discovery of what is important to you comes from making time to escape your professional structure. Break the mold and elevate your mind. Put your energy into what you want to do. Find inspiration in every task by relating it to your WHY.

:) Success is the discovery of happiness.
:) Your WHY is your true mission - it should be at the center of every decision you make.
:) The moments in-between are far more important than grandiose events.
:) Developing multi-tiered relationships will give you a more fully formed workplace perspective.
:) Your free time is as important to your success as your time on the clock.

Homework: Develop a cluster that relates the subjects above. Prioritize your time/energy toward what is genuinely important. Identify your WHY and remind yourself of it every day.

Don't Forget to Remember!


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