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Being Inspired – it begins with you

Over the Matariki long weekend, many educators spent vast amounts of time writing mid-year school reports. As a trained teacher, and former school Principal, I know myself, just how time-consuming this can be. Thankfully, gone are the days from some of my own schooling, when ‘copy and paste’ seemed to be the default function on many reports, with even the occasional random name thrown in for good measure.

I do, however, remember locking myself away from friends and family for countless hours, trying to put to paper the learning journey of each child in my class. 

It can be easy during such times when we are head-down, grinding through a task, to start to lose sight of our Why. We can wonder if it’s all worth it, and dream of other options. This can be true of anything we do; be it having to travel away from home for our mahi, dealing with tricky stakeholders, or even doing the same thing day after day, the grind can become very real.

Yet, if we do decide to move-on, and seek another opportunity, we may also be taking faulty thinking along with us.

Professor Angela Duckworth, author of “Grit” states,

You can go from job to career to calling – all without changing your occupation.

It can be easy to job-hop, searching for the next best thing, when in actual fact, it may be right under your nose.

In his book, “Trust and Inspire”, Stephen M. R. Covey tells of the parable of the three bricklayers. While working, the bricklayers were asked what they were doing. The first bricklayer responded, “I’m a bricklayer. I’m working hard laying bricks to feed my family”. The second bricklayer replied, “I’m a builder. I’m building a wall”. The third bricklayer said, “I build houses, so people are provided with shelter and a safe place to live”. Same work, three completely different perspectives. The first had a job, the second had a career, and the third had a calling”. Indeed, purpose can turn a job into a calling.

For many organisations, their statement of purpose provides a sense of meaning that can inspire people by connecting what they do with why it matters.

Nike, Athletic apparel:

“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world”

If you have a body, you are an athlete.

Disney, Media and entertainment:

“Creating happiness through magical experiences”

Patagonia, Outdoor equipment:

“We’re in business to save our home planet”

Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle manufacturer:

“More than building machines, we stand for the
timeless pursuit of adventure. Freedom for the soul”

Yes, an inspirational purpose statement can motivate and connect people with the organisational Why. However, I believe this is not the only part. It works in both directions. Our level of personal agency within any organisation is linked to our mindset and choices. It is up to us to what extent we wish to connect to our organisational or personal Why. 

The grind can be transformed through a simple reframe. Right now, are you choosing to have a job, a career, or a calling?

Where would you like to be?

What mindset shift, or reframe do you need to make to level it up?

Middle Leader Coaching and Mentoring

Are you a leader of an organisation or school who is intent on growing your middle leaders, but not quite sure how?

Are you spending time mentoring and coaching them on-the-hop and feel you could be supporting them better?

Maybe with the best of intent, you place them on a one-day course, but these are like a drop in the ocean; they provide some tools, but once back in the face of work, their use can fall-over. This leaves them feeling frustrated and confused, and can sometimes make an even bigger problem for you to deal with, and will eat into your already precious time.

More details here


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