Losing Your Sense of Purpose
I’m writing from backstage at the San Jose Convention Center where I’ll be addressing female engineers who aspire to greater leadership (IEEE Annual Conference).
As I review my notes, it makes little sense to rehash where we are not and why systems fail women in the workplace. Instead, I’ll be focusing on our own responsibility in reclaiming the talents we possess and the purpose imperative. You see, without a sense of purpose, both men and women fall prey to what I call “Empty Power Suit Syndrome.”
If you suffer with this syndrome, you are probably experiencing a lack of motivation at work and maybe even heading toward burnout.
Are you a victim of this? Whether you are male or female, you may find yourself focusing too much on how you execute and the effectiveness of your presence – rather than drawing from the fuel that purpose can provide.
Is this you – or one of your reports?
- You mentally check yourself – your body language and your power words – when you are in the room with others to make sure you are conveying a sense of confidence and power
- You feel like you are in a vicious cycle of task lists and reaching big goals without a sense of satisfaction
- You think a lot about image – powerful first impressions and follow-up – this is on your mind a lot
If you are doing any of these, or you are preoccupied with thoughts like how to stay in front of the other salmon swimming upstream, then it’s time to stop.
It’s time to remember your purpose – the larger reason you do what you do.
Why is this?
Purpose fuels us. It motivates and engages us as we work toward a larger picture. It also removes the focus from ourselves to what’s important – what we are contributing to make great things happen.
Purpose gives us the ability to see our direction more clearly and strategically so that we are more effective in execution.
If we are motivated, engaged, focused on our direction with clarity, and effective in executing our responsibilities, then we have accomplished the things that help us to make impact. Confidence soars. We stand out naturally for the right reasons. And we make the world a better place.
Why am I waxing eloquent on this today?
We have gotten lost. The rat race to get ahead is providing me with a lot of clients who are burned out and disenchanted with work. Some have quit, and others are thinking of leaving. And a lot of it stems from a long road of Empty Power Suit Syndrome – trying to prove how good they are against the competition so they can get ahead.
Want to get ahead?
Get purpose. Put it in front. Keep it there. I promise your entire work life will change for the better.
And the world will thank you for it.
Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive coaching, leadership development, succession planning, change, and conflict management. She is also a Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.
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