I love writing a blog for several reasons, but one of those is that I can simply talk to those who want to listen about what is real to me at the moment. Almost always this is directly related to leadership and I suspect today is no different, but I’m in a funny place. I was asked by the Annie Jennings group (awesome PR folks by the way) to consider writing a bi-weekly blog for their site. Of course I will write for just about anybody because I’m passionate about leadership and leadership topics. Except this time, they want me to write more of an inspirational blog than a leadership blog.
I’m fascinated by the response this brought out in me. I use to be a fairly frequent motivational speaker because I’m also passionate about the fact that most people do not achieve their potential because they forget what they know about their ability to succeed. I love feeling like something I said just might have an impact on somebody far beyond when I said it. More than that, one of the thrills of this kind of communication is that you say what you believe in the way that you believe it and then weeks or months later, somebody sends you a note saying you really impacted their life.
But, you know what my first internal response was? “I don’t do motivation anymore.” I have somehow allowed myself to get caught up in publishing, teaching, writing and so forth and managed to lose the main point from the beginning. When I first started down this path my belief was that touching the lives of leaders could have a great impact, not only on their day to day work, but on their lives and those that followed them. In fact, my primary interest in working with leaders is the multiplying effect that leaders have on others.
By getting caught up in the actual tactics of what I do, I lost the connection to the reason that I do it. “I don’t do motivation anymore,” is about as sad a thought as I think I could have had. Luckily, I wrote it in a text to Karen, my wife, and had a chance to actually see myself write it. The act of seeing it made it significant in the fact that I truly don’t believe what I said…or more specifically, I can chose to absolutely NOT believe what I said.
There is a connection to leadership here, by the way. At times you need to step back…maybe way back…and remember why you do what you do. Whether you articulated it or not, you had a vision when you started. But visions are delicate things and can be altered, changed and hidden by the tasks that are in front of you. My suggestion…this week carve out an hour for yourself and reflect on this question: “Why do you do what you do?” Then ask yourself, “Are you satisfied with the answer to your question?” If not, try to remember the things you planned to accomplish when you first started down this role and recommit to the purpose that you started with.
I’ll keep you updated about this other blog and how it goes. It’s not up and running quite yet but will be very soon. In the meantime, dust off your own motivations and start getting back to what drove you in the first place. I believe that it will help you, and help me, make more of a difference.