Again- I was blown away yesterday, as I stepped inside a company that packages books for children. I was there to meet the founder and CEO. And, even before we met—I sensed that something was really different about this place! I could feel joy, love, and an overall happiness from the receptionist to the box packer. The atmosphere was thick with intention.
As the CEO and I spoke, he explained that his intention is for all children in the Chicagoland to have 12 new books each year—especially in underfunded areas, where 300 children share one book. His hope is that children from pre-first grade through sixth learn to love reading-since this sets a lifelong foundation to dream, create and build without limitations. This is an opportunity of a life time for so many.
Yet, my gut knew there was still much more than giving books to millions of children. This CEO believes that his success is nothing without significance. BINGO! This is what was resonating with me in a big way (no words needed)—flowing from him and all of the dedicated people on his team. Yes—I adore the transformational meaning of his work—and even more how he has created a culture of working from the inside out. His WHY comes first. His purpose rules what he does.
Key: I became curious about what he was building, because his WHY is the center of his life —he is building a contagious workplace —people volunteer from all walks of life and the company is spreading nationwide! I could not help but to be so on board about what he is doing, because I am one who fully believes in living a life on purpose wherever I go—and even though I adore children and want to support them—this leader, who is crystal clear on his purpose drew me to want all in.
To be fully you-growing and living a life on purpose first, then achieving success by what you do best, is the life lived significantly. For life -who you are cannot be separated by what you do. When we set aside purpose -Our WHY- to the almighty doing- life becomes less meaningful. And striving to be other than ourself is living outside of integrity. We are made for more than just doing!
Leaders and companies who understand this, create engaging, sustainable companies. And companies who understand their cause and purpose really change the world because of who they are—then what they do. People with the same cause are drawn to be part of creating an awesome work place. Customers want to be a part of a company who do more than just sell things. Even better, customers speak on behalf of purposed companies —creating multiplying, loyal followers.
Another big thought—who wants to be convinced of anything anyway? No one wants to be persuaded or told what to do… And inspired leaders and companies do not behave this way. They are just really clear on who they are and what they are called to do. The goal is not the result —it is about the collaborative, on purpose journey day to day -shining brightly —displaying an everlasting flame of many stars.
Leaders who are intentional about being their best, also create a place for their teams to be their best—the opposite of trying to change, motivate or manipulate. A leader who changes the world —knows they can only change themselves. They are not motivated to produce the best on the outside, rather they are intentional about growing inside each day and wondering what they can learn. This type of leader is motivated from the inside out. Seeking external change or end goals brings frustration and fear—as no one is in control of the external—yet most live trying to manipulate the outside.
What changes when one looks from the inside? One starts to notice their 100% responsibility. They take ownership of what they have created. They know who they are and what they want.
Bottom line—be in charge of your best, significant life, and hold a place for others to do the same. Look to who you are being —and then what you bring to the table. Is this table one of abundance? Picture who you want to invite to your table and envision enjoying them, as you taste all that life has to offer—celebrating the gift of each other—pursuing your collaborative WHY.