For leaders of large organizations these days it’s easy to fall into a tendency of seeing everything in terms of numbers, percentages and potential for profit.
Many executives come from an accounting background, which makes them already predisposed to this tendency, plus the way the corporate world operates these days makes it very difficult to have a broader perspective.
Fiscal responsibilities take the highest priority (justifiably so), and there’s rarely any time or energy left for anything else. The result is, that even though the organisation functions quite well, there’s little or no joy in it for the executives.
Yes, they get some satisfaction from their high earnings, from playing well at the corporate politics and from successful market conquests, but deep inside there’s emptiness that none of these things are able to fill.
I know that this must sound trite, but the reason for this condition is the lack of a higher purpose.
Imagine for a moment that you are wa-a-ay in the future and you’re sitting on a park bench with your grandchild on your lap. The grandchild asks you about what you did when you were young. What are you going to answer – I increased the shareholder value?
Don’t get me wrong, increasing shareholder value is no small accomplishment, but in and of itself it is devoid of spirit, it is lifeless, mechanical and will only confuse your grandchild.
So your job, as a busy and important executive, is to find a purpose for yourself that will excite you and fill your heart with joy. Something that would make you turn up at work even if there were no perks, no status to be gained and no high salary. Something you’d be proud to tell your future grandchild about.