Last month’s twitter chat at #BizBkChat was with the fabulous writer and entrepreneur, John Jantsch (of Duct Tape Marketing fame). On the chat, he made a comment that, “Purpose isn’t a meeting. It’s an excavation.”
There was something about that line that rang true for me. I think we’re so used to labeling things, boxing them in and putting parameters around them. It helps us to keep our chaotic world organized, of course, and so the attempt to define and package everything around us is understandable. The challenge, I believe, with most corporate initiatives around “purpose” or “employee engagement” or similarly fuzzy terms, is exactly that – we call them initiatives. Or Projects. Maybe this is one of the reasons why we like 1/2 day, full day, or three day conferences so much; we can define them, put parameters around them and check them off our list.
Would you put love in a box like that? Or health? Sure, there are things we can do (date night for the former, visit the gym for the latter), but those single acts alone don’t sustain the improvement in those areas. Love and health are states of being. So too, I propose, is “engaged” and “working with purpose”. These aren’t checklist ideals. These aren’t achieved in a meeting. In fact, I don’t believe they’re achieved at all.
What else are you trying to put on a list of “to do’s”?