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I heard the recent report of a Nepali team reaching the summit of K2, the world’s second highest peak, during winter. A magnificent achievement of incredible difficulty!

But, of course, the lurking question is: Why bother?

“Because it’s there”

— George Mallory, 1924, on summiting Everest

Not everything can be measured in quantifiable terms.

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You might think that today’s message is about reflecting on the year’s goals, and progress made. With what this year has thrown at us, I doubt that ANY of us are on progress with what we were thinking at the beginning of the year.

Either way ahead or way behind, perhaps out of business entirely.

In my case, I experienced a massive “pivot” this year, delivering a lot of services producing amazing Zoom events for clients. It’s been fun, but certainly not my business plan.

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What can my company contribute to society?

That’s a remarkably powerful question, and so much different than the typical way of thinking about business. The usual attitude is “extractive” – in other words, how can I get more than an equal share. More customers, more money, more market.

That’s a zero-sum mindset. And there’s a different way of thinking.

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Is your organization headed somewhere specifically? Somewhere important?

I recently heard David Burkus talk about the concept of being on a “crusade”. It’s similar to how I’ve used the concept of “mission,” but the word has more emotional impact.

David talked about three kinds of crusades:

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Last week I contrasted the jobs in a large company to the more collaborative engagement in a startup business. It’s not necessary to be a startup, of course, it’s just easier because that’s where new ideas can take off and flourish.

I had a chance recently to talk with a lady in another country who works for a company which connects global contract workers with part-time roles in larger companies. If you’ve used a remote Virtual Assistant, that’s what I’m talking about.

Sure, that lets you outsource tasks to get cheaper labor. We’ve been doing that for decades. But in this case, there’s a larger driving purpose behind it.

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Get Coached Podcast with Chris Ippolito
Play the podcast here!

I had the opportunity recently to have a great conversation with Chris Ippolito on his podcast. Chris is interviewing a wide variety of coaches, spreading the word about the amazing positive impact that this profession is having in the world!

Check it out here.

Last week I talked about poor Valerie. She’s a solid worker, but isn’t bringing much loyalty or passion to her job. It’s just a job.

Across the street, though, we have a small startup company of 8 people who are now getting traction. It’s a small enough group that they know each other fairly well, so their teamwork is pretty darned good.

And they’re not afraid to embrace new ideas. It’s part of their culture, after all.

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Valerie has a pretty decent job. She’s pretty good at it, having been in the position for four years now.

It’s not inspiring, but hey, it’s a job.

So how much creativity and productivity do we think she’s devoting to her work?

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Returning from my holiday break, I experienced a palpable difficulty re-engaging with my work. In one sense, it felt like I had to put on a completely different brain that I hadn’t used for a couple of weeks.

It was a welcome break, and gave me the opportunity to reflect on the bigger picture.

That’s something I love doing with my clients as well – to give them space to get away from the day-to-day issues. To think bigger.

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This is SUCH a common phenomenon; I see it all the time. You’re busy doing a million things, but you’re in a fog about why.

Time to climb up above the murkiness, my friends.

And look at the big picture.

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