If your heart isn’t in it, you’re setting yourself up for failure. This may seem so obvious, yet often, many of us get so caught up in the ‘doing’ that we miss the obvious that’s right in front of us. No matter how hard we push ourselves to achieve our goals, the reality is that we’re fighting a losing battle if our heart isn’t in it because it’s not what we really want. Heart-centred success is about achieving success working on stuff that lights us up.
My mentor reminded me of this simple truth recently, and I’m grateful for her heartfelt and candid observation. This advice is relevant for all leaders, regardless of whether you have your own business, or if you’re a leader in corporate.
For those of you who are the master and commander of your own business, you can identify with the constant challenge of deciding where to invest your limited energy and resources. Bright shiny things abound, and you have to fight the constant pull to chase every single new idea that could accelerate business growth. Your very livelihood depends on your ability to generate sales and improve cash flow so the temptation to chase the dollars, and only the dollars, is high.
I’m curious how often you’ve pursued something purely for the bottom-line, at the expense of what truly lights you up? Like most business owners, you’ve probably done it more times than you care to admit. Let’s face it, there’s idealism, and then there’s the reality of paying bills and putting food on the table. And I’ve no doubt that you’ve had success even when your heart hasn’t been fully engaged. Because you make it work. You drive hard towards the finish line, but it was probably a hard uphill climb as you had to push yourself at every step.
For those of you working in corporate, it’s probably a little harder, though not impossible, to line up passion points with your work priorities. Few leaders in corporate have the complete freedom to decide what they want to work on. Priorities and projects flow from corporate strategic objectives. On balance, I figure that if you spend a large portion of your time working on meaningful stuff that you enjoy, you are achieving heart-centred success.
If however, you are in a position to define and direct the focus of your time and energy, be grateful for this opportunity. You now have a unique advantage to work on projects that align your passions with corporate priorities and a chance to demonstrate your personal leadership brand.
So the question for you is –
What do you want to be known for 12 months from now?
What projects can you focus on that aligns with these passion points?
How will success in these projects help you progress towards your longer term career goal?
Your personal leadership brand has to flow from what matters to you. How you want to make a difference doing work that is meaningful to you. Big or small, you have some degree of control over what you focus on every day. It’s up to you to define what heart-centred success looks like for you.