We could all stand a re-visit of the things that drive us now and then. This is mine, relevant for others as it has turned into a micro case study of engagement. As the gut-check proceeded, I found the elements I was most concerned with are several of the things that have the most impact on a person’s level of engagement. It wasn’t a conscious decision to weigh in on those elements, but it’s not surprising that’s the direction the analysis went, because those are the most important checks to make.
Sometimes the process of analysis is just affirmation that things are in order, or maybe a re-definition of purpose and process comes along. Either way, the value of the analysis is to stay headed down the right path.
For starters, I never really considered myself to be on “a mission”. Never really thought about it. What does “being on a mission” mean anyway and what’s so important about it?
I am purposeful and driven, my discretionary time and then some is consumed with furthering the cause of engagement, and my efforts are personal and values-based. I deeply believe in what I am doing as I am convinced that it will make a difference in the grand scheme of things. My influence will spread out through those with whom I have direct contact and, even though I may not know first-hand how much and how far that influence will spread, I simply know that it will.
I’ve lived by my stated Mission for nearly twenty years: Make an Impact; Leave a Legacy. My scope of operation is one pebble at a time in one pond because I don’t have the capacity or level of influence to change ocean levels worldwide. But that’s OK because I work within that limitation.
My Vision—the “why” that keeps me going—is this thing called the Greater Good. As I grow older I think more and more about what kind of long-term shape my family will be in when I finally check out of this room. We’ve pretty much messed things up to the point that it’s scary to consider the sustainability of a livable habitat and whether our culture is capable of being resuscitated. I will never believe that I have no role, no impact, no influence on the future. I do. We all do. One Pond, One Pebble. Ripples spread.
I’m beginning to feel more and more mission-driven as we speak….self-talk is a great concept!
My current employer is not far enough down the evolutionary path to be serious about engagement, and I don’t have the level of positional influence to get much done. So I’m covertly influencing things where I can. While my assigned work is vital it’s not in my wheel house as much as I’d like, and I’m very aware this is not the most personally engaging long-term situation. But my MeInc mission has no organizational boundary—it’s much larger than one company. So I am cultivating my external influence. Maybe my company will catch up someday, or maybe our paths will diverge at some point. It’s all good.
I’m an independent operative at the moment but due to change that very soon as part of my strategy to achieve my mission. While I have no formal allegiance to one particular engagement flag, I am very much aligned with several well-established organizations and individuals: Gallup, Engage for Success, BlessingWhite and David Zinger for starters. Several others are fighting the same good fight: Towers-Watson, the Hay Group, McKinsey…basically any organization that dabbles in engagement has focused in on the same strategies. As an independent, I’m free to cherry pick the best of the best thinking in any given situation, as long as I stay legal and give credit where due.
By the way, three of my long-standing core values are freedom from unnecessary constraints, learning new things and the need to be creative. From that perspective, all systems “go”.
Stay tuned: the engagers that came into play in this MeInc mission check will be coming along shortly in a follow-up post. In the meantime…what’s in your wallet?