Finding fulfillment and your life’s purpose is a hot topic these days. Both personally and professionally. Maybe it’s because Millennials are paving the way for us “old timers” by demanding more flexibility at work and more action for social issues from the organizations in which they work. They crave meaning and purpose from a young age while many of the older generations come from the school of hard work sprinkled with blood, sweat and tears to earn the freedom to live life the way they want once they reach retirement.
But that’s changing.
People from all generations are realizing they can live the life they want now and are starting to look for what that means for them. That usually starts in the workplace.
The first thing that many old school leaders say is that they want to help their team to develop but develop on their team within their organization. That isn’t true leadership, development or empowerment. While we all want to keep our rock stars on our teams, sometimes the best thing we can do for them is let them go.
The rock stars that leave will be the ones that spread the word about you, the way you empowered them, and what an amazing leader you are to work for. You’ll attract even more rock stars when you empower the ones you have to find their fulfillment.
Supporting our leaders and teams to find purpose and fulfillment is essential if you want happy, productive teams. It helps retain employees, builds loyalty, improves the reputation of your leadership, your leaders, teams and the organization. Which in turn attracts more top talent.
Empowering our people to find fulfillment isn’t something that is taught. Nor are many leaders doing it. Below are 5 strategies to empower your people to find fulfillment at any level within an organization.
If you want to empower your team and leaders to find their fulfillment, get curious. Ask them what they are passionate about and what they are curious to learn more about. This will not only empower them, but it will strengthen your relationship.
Network it Out
Introduce them to people in your network or use your network to find the right people on the right teams that can help them explore their areas of interest. This will give them an opportunity for informational interviews and decide if they want to explore further.
Many organizations have hundreds of projects just waiting for someone to take the lead and make it happen. Help find a side project that is within their area of interest and let them run with it. Do they have an idea already? Great! This will give them an opportunity to “test drive” that area to determine if they want to go in that direction.
Whether formal or informal, introduce your people to potential mentors that can help them find a path with purpose. Having an objective supporter without skin in the game of your team’s performance enables more honest conversations and exploration.
This may sound silly, but it is important that your team knows that it is ok to explore their passions and look for fulfillment in their job (and in their personal lives). Sometimes people just need to hear the words. Let them know that you won’t take it personally. That you 100% support them in whatever is in their highest and greatest good.
If you are a leader feeling like you want your boss to empower you, just ask. Know that you also have the power to act for yourself if your boss hasn’t realized the importance of empowerment yet. Get curious about what you are passionate about. Connect with your network, look for a mentor, a side project and give yourself permission to find your fulfillment now. You owe it to yourself and those around you to live your best life.
“Your long-term happiness and fulfillment depend on your ability to fulfill your soul’s unique purpose and to fill the place in the world that only you can fill, making the contribution that only you can make.” – Rod Stryker