Nothing puts air in our sails like a noble purpose. But many of us work for businesses where our focus is to simply outperform last quarter. If you can't manage your purpose, you can still inspire your co-workers. When you bring the best of who you are to the job or the project or the dinner table, you will inspire. You can't help it. Great causes inspire. Any cause is greater than service to self. Include anyone besides yourself in the category of "who you serve," and your cause becomes something great!
Maybe you don't look up to your company or its leaders. Maybe you drag yourself to work every day. But if you can make your purpose anything bigger than yourself, you can begin to experience inspiration. And this is self-inspiration. It's an intrinsic reward that we get when we know we're doing something meaningful. In Drive, Daniel Pink referred to people motivated by the goal as Type I people to designate their intrinsic motivation. That intrinsic motivation comes from a purpose. (Note: Steve Farber wrote a great book on this titled Greater Than Yourself. Check it out.)
What if you decided that you were going to serve a teammate tomorrow? Just look for opportunities to help a coworker with no expectation of return. I promise you will get an opportunity. We're all struggling a little. We all could use some help. Look for the help you can provide rather than concentrating on the help you need. The minute you recognize a need and take action, you're a leader. And that action builds trust which will eventually lead to influence. That's character-based leadership in action.
Make your purpose bigger than yourself and energize your life. You'll energize the people around you too.
Photo by ronnie44052