5 Steps To Greater Authenticity
Sometimes in business and within our careers we feel we’ve lost momentum. We feel we’re lacking in direction, purpose and energy. Our thinking turns more negative and we may wonder what we are doing and why? This is all perfectly natural, but it’s also good to realise there is a solution and that new insights - coupled with a renewed sparkiness can return.
When we are in a state of flow, we’re present and engaged. Results beyond our expectations can occur and Aristotle’s famous sentiment becomes true:
‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’
All of us have had, at times, an experience of this state of flow. However, all too often, it can prove to be illusive. For both ourselves and our businesses there are conditions that support vitality. The essential pulse of our enterprise or career is directly influenced by our own internal state, and this in turn affects our capacity for self-leadership and leadership of others.
1. Put Purpose At The Heart
In my workbook on self-leadership, one of the cornerstones is being guided by your sense of purpose. Firstly this requires openness, to explore and rediscover anew, what your purpose is – whether organisationally or individually – and for this to be your guide in decision-making. If we just jump on the bandwagon of purpose, because it’s ‘good for business’, we miss the point and are in danger of purpose being superficial and therefore not having much impact. It becomes
‘a veneer applied to the status quo - instead of being truly lived in culture, operations and hard business decisions. . . .this approach is doing more – and more long-lasting– damage than good’
Alex Dimiziani, Global Marketing Director, Airbnb
This is equally true in our careers. We any need to dig deep to discover our purpose and start living from a place of genuine authenticity.
2. Get Reflective
All too often we’re too caught up in the busyness of the day-today to ask where we’re heading and why. Without the why, we’re rudderless and easily lose our way. Purpose is worth pausing over. In fact, without it we’ll end up feeling a distinct lack of fulfilment and our business motivation will suffer.
Another condition that supports a healthy career or business pulse is an openness to new ideas, inspiration and insights. For many years I’ve been curious about where great ideas come from and how they arise in the first place. The type of idea that launches a business, creates a change in career, defines a new project or is the catalyst for a programme of change comes from a moment of inspiration. These ideas and insights sustain innovation and in addition they’ll help to validate our direction. Insight really is the oxygen supply for meaningful, purpose-filled business.
3. Intuition Drives Meaningful Impact
In my experience, consulting with business leaders, entrepreneurs, MBA students and researchers solving real-world challenges, these ideas are very often a spark of intuition.
Intuition rarely arises whilst we’re sat at the desk in the midst of a busy mind. In fact, they occur most readily when the mind is calmer. In my research, the key times people have mentioned having great ideas and insights include:
· when out jogging
· in the shower
· walking in nature
· having a swim
· on the yoga mat
· during a moment of mindfulness
· once you’ve ‘slept on it’
· doing the gardening
· after taking a holiday
4. Do What Works for You
At the times listed about your conscious mind is less active, and it allows your subconscious mind to do what it does best and solve the problem or challenge. The key thing here is finding the space and time to allow this to happen and for fresh thinking and insights to emerge. You need to find a way to step back, get yourself out of the way and tap into your deeper potential. And to do this, you need to find your own way - whatever that is. There’s no way to be prescriptive here, so feel free to be experimental and most importantly, to be open to change.
5. Take the Next Step
Purpose and intuition are central to innovation and creativity in careers and in business. In ‘The Purposeful Business & Career Roadmap’, I go into much more depth about developing your intuition and defining your purpose. If you’d like a copy of my FREE workbook please get in touch here.