Stop chasing results and make impact

Each of us are limited by the number of days to leave our mark. Most people I speak with have this understanding which drives them to ask the question, “What I am here for?”

Until just a few years ago I asked that question too, but am convinced there is a better question to ask ourselves; the most powerful question is, “Who am I here for?” Within this question lies the seed  to make lasting change.  I confess this has made dramatic change in all spheres of my life and may be the key in preventing us from falling into the trap of following self-seeking leaders.

Step 1: We need to know who it is for

Jeff Goins, author of The Art of Work, teaches that when we make something it is for someone, not for everyone.

This idea changed my life.  It added clarity and has allowed me to focus my work in new ways.

Who our work is for allows us to give up on the idea that it is about us and removes the roadblock of making something perfect. It only has to be valuable to those to whom we are giving it. Isn’t that a refreshing thought?

We only have to add value to those we are making it for and don’t have to listen to those who don’t “get it”.

Step 2: We have to know what it is for

When we know who we are here for and which group we are here to serve, each breath we take in producing work that matters to others helps us fulfill our own purpose.

Isn’t that cool?

We don’t need to try to fulfill our purpose separately from our work. It becomes the result of what we do. Nothing extra, just more impact!

Step 3: Commit to finish what we start

With few exceptions, commitments to our people require finishing what we begin. What we set out to do may change as we learn along the way, but we do finish.

When we work for ourselves, we are responsible to ourselves. When we work for our people and a noble cause, we take our commitments more seriously.

Following through despite challenges, builds character.

Step 4: Bring others along

So important to our success is how we live, grow, and teach as we go about our work. Don’t be deceived, leading is not separate from how we live. In fact, it the essence of our life. Others see it whether we want them to or not.

People are always watching us.

Our opportunity is to live in ways that inspire others with the heart to serve. Without much extra effort we can show the way for others to follow and/or encourage them to lead their own mission to serve those closest to  them.  Creating environments of safety and places where gifts can be multiplied.

Step 5: We have to do it well

As we do our work, we must be committed to excellence. How can we deliver our work in ways that are uniquely better? Work that serves people we were made to serve must be of the highest quality.

Quality is the measure that demonstrates our commitment to their betterment.

Our heart for service is embedded in the quality of our work that is meant for them; not us.

Conclusion:

In my view, results are the short game, while impact as a result of purposeful work towards making change that matters to those who we were created to serve is what gives life meaning.  The best part is you get to decide.   I encourage you to begin with the question, “who you are here for?”, and see what change that makes in your work and in your life.   Send me a note with your thoughts.  I would love to learn what you discover.

Shepherding: The art of becoming the leader others want to follow