In order to understand what makes you fulfilled, answer the following questions about what you enjoy the most, your core values, past accomplishments, and vision for the future.
- How often do you wake up and feel like you have a real sense of purpose as a leader? Do you ever think about your goals and then consider whether or not you've hired the best people to help you achieve them? So many leaders want to be good managers and inspire their teams but few actually stop to question why they're on this path in the first place. For years, I've been running my own companies yet only in the past several years did I realize my true meaning in life, to support the next generation of leaders.
Once I connected all the dots in my career of writing books and consulting and speaking and interviewing thousands of people did I realize my true motivation. With this knowledge, I now make better decisions about how and when I spend time and who I surround myself with. While it may sound counterintuitive to focus on your own fulfillment, when you're leading and supporting a team, it's critical. If you don't have a vision and a belief in yourself, you won't be able to motivate others and they will eventually leave you.
Instead, figure out what makes you fulfilled and then focus your attention on their needs. It's similar to the safety procedures when you're on an airplane. You have to help yourself first before you can help others and you need to do the same as a leader. Your happiness and fulfillment will naturally attract others. In order to understand your own fulfillment, you should ask yourself the following five questions. What do you enjoy doing the most? What do your past accomplishments tell you about your strengths? What are your core values? For example, adventure, challenge, contribution, respect.
What brings out the most positive feelings for you? Where do you envision yourself in the future and why? These questions will not only help you uncover what you're meant to do but why you're on this path. By understanding your past achievements, your current interests and the emotions you have, you can figure out how to best spend your time and you shouldn't just ask yourself these questions today or tomorrow but regularly throughout the rest of your career as a leader.
Your interests, needs and responsibilities will change and that change needs to be reflected in your own fulfillment. For instance, if money makes you fulfilled now then own it and push your team to reach higher profitability through their work. In two years, that could change. You may put more emphasis on impacting your community over money because you've already increased revenue or your company is already growing at a rapid pace. Your fulfillment dictates whom you hire, whom you fire and who wants to stay with you for the long-term.
It's essential that you figure this out now because it'll help you lead a successful team today and in the future.
- Defining your own fulfillment
- Making and sticking to goals
- Optimizing your productivity
- Leading with empathy
- Creating a culture of learning
- Managing and supporting diversity
- Hiring, engaging, and rewarding the best employees