“I’m stuck,” Maggie lamented as she sat across the table from me with her well-read copy of The Purpose Project. “I’m about to take on a new role in People and Culture and I want to inject my own sense of purpose into it but have no idea how.”
“Tell me everything that matters to you (and bothers you) about the role and your company,” I responded. After 15 minutes, Maggie finally landed on what really matters. “We don’t have the real conversations,” she sighed. “What do you mean by a real conversation?” I asked. “I believe people feel they can’t bring their whole-self to work and that we need to be professionally upbeat all the time. We put our game-face on and it just doesn’t feel like a very human place to work because we can’t talk about the real stuff.”
“So, are you having real conversations with others?” I asked. “No, I don’t feel safe in doing that here,” Maggie shared. “I think I’ll look for a job in a more human company where I can.”
After seeking permission to offer Maggie advice, I said “The grass is not likely to be greener in another company. You have a perfect opportunity right here to affect change. What if your purpose was ‘to be the champion of real conversations at work’? It will require courage and vulnerability as you’ll need to role model it first before others will follow. Think about it over the next week then check out page 207 of the book to develop your own Purpose Project and experiment with it. I suggest you set a specific goal so it becomes concrete rather than a mere idea.”
Five days later, I received an email from Maggie. “I’ve created a project for myself and already started having real conversations with others. I’ve even reflected on my childhood. There was one pivotal and poignant experience as a child where I was silenced and couldn’t tell the truth. I now understand the long-term impact that had on me and how it’s playing out today. I’m going to make a presentation to our whole team in three weeks entitled “Real Conversations” and I’m sharing that story. I’m digging deep and it’s scary but I feel fully alive!”
This story, is at the heart of why I do what I do. I’m passionate about helping people bring their own why to work. It’s a simple yet profound concept. I know that your workplace is filled with Maggie’s. They’re the people at most risk of leaving, yet the ones you most need to keep. They are your Purpose Activists. So, how do you find the Maggie’s? How do you help them lead the drive for purpose in your workplace?
I think I have the answer. We empower your Maggie’s to role model purpose and we teach them how to teach others to bring their own why to work too.
That’s why I’ve developed The Purpose Project Leadership Program. It’s a unique offering to compliment the book and is for leaders to help guide and coach your people to purpose greatness. Interested in finding out more?
Email me at Carolyn@Carolyntate.co or call +61 412 806 950.