After spending so long thinking about, but not actually writing, my first post, I wanted my second one to be quite soon after the first. The very insightful Gretchin Rubin says that you should blog everyday to help you get in the habit of doing it. I’m not sure I’m ready for that, but it’s a good aspiration to aim for!
In my first post – The importance of purpose – I wrote a lot about why I believe understanding your purpose is so key, and finished the post off with a story about the time that I lost mine. This post takes on the next chapter of that story.
A few funny things happened over that winter. Not only did I challenge and change myself, I also found a few new sources of inspiration. Things that I could connect with. Things that I believed in. Things that gave me the confidence to be myself.
The first was a book. A book I had had for a while. A book which I won in competition but had never got around to reading. But once I started reading it I couldn’t stop. There it was in black and white, page after page of inspiration and guidance. And in each page my belief in how a leader should work, be and act was set out, right there. It could actually be done. And it could be done in a huge, multinational company.
So I realised, if it could be done in a huge, multinational company, then I can do it for my team.
The book just struck so many cords with me. How Howard describes Starbucks at the time was how I felt about my team. How Howard describes his feelings was how I felt. Then it hit me, the difference between where Howard was and where I was, was that he had a vision, he had belief and he had a clear purpose about where he wanted Starbucks to go.
And that was what I was missing. So I set about changing that.
Another funny thing whilst reading Onward. I stumbled across another new source of inspiration.
In Onward, Howard talks about an external consultancy firm that he brings in. A firm that operates very differently to most – if not all – other consultancy firms. A firm that breathes the importance of a team, company or organisation understanding their mission. A firm that 100% believes that a team, company or organisation needs to know what they are doing will make a difference in the world. A firm that knows that great teams understand the forces with and against them — what stands in the way. What was the firm? It was SYPartners.
After being inspired so much by what I was reading – there really was a company out there that was in line with my own beliefs! – I did what everyone does in the days of the Internet, I turned to Google to find out more about them.
I spent a couple of weeks soaking up more and more of the SYPartners way of working online. I watched videos. I read articles. I studied their products.
I started to have confidence and believe in their amazing mission statement:
We believe it’s worthy work to envision, believe in, and fight for greatness.
Yes – that was what I wanted.
I envisioned being part of a great team.
I believed that my team should be great.
And I was now willing to fight for my team to become great.
My fire was beginning to get stoked – but I still didn’t know how to move forward. And then I stumbled across one of their great products – Unstuck.
Unstuck was an iPad app [its much more than that now!] which can be described as ‘a digital thinkpal’. It’s an in-the-moment digital coach to help when you’re feeling stuck by helping to see what is making you stuck. And then it helps you come up with clear actions to tackle those problems, and to become, unstuck.
So that’s what I did. I used their tool to better understand what was stopping me. And then to identify what I needed to do to become unstuck.
I now had actions.
I was ready to move forward – it was progress.
I was getting unstuck to make progress.
In my next post I’ll talk about the vision I set out to aim towards – and the first few steps I took to get there.