Making Work Meaningful

Zappos freebie packageImage by Larry Tomlinson via FlickrLots of people think that unless you are pursuing your passions you are wasting your life. However they never stop to explain that pursuing your passions is not enough to be successful. Pursuing your passions needs a lot of skills that being an entrepreneur calls for – like reframing skills, discovering or creating a market, and marketing and sales skills.

No wonder many of us don’t choose the freelance or entrepreneurial route. And in cases like mine, choose it, explore it, and head back to the corporate world, which for all its imperfections enables you to do one thing and do that well.

If that is the case, why are so many of us unhappy at work?

Well the reasons are as varied as there are employees, and depends on what we expect from our jobs. Is it the need for achievement or affiliation or power as McClelland postulated?

Personally I think every human being wants to be part of something larger than himself or herself. An organization should look at goals that excite even the most world weary cynic and say “I am part of something meaningful. Something larger. Something beautiful”

I think it was Umair Haque who wrote that things that excite human beings like meaning, sense, love, beauty and passion are deliberately stripped and removed from the modern corporate in the single minded pursuit of profit without “purpose and passion”

Look at the workplace near you? Do you hire human beings or “human resources” or “human capital” or “talent” ? What we (and I am guilty as charged too) all try to do is seek conformance of people – hoping they just get their brains or hands to work and keep those pesky emotions away.

Unfortunately, unless you want to emotionally passionately change the world – you cannot see meaning in boring power points and excel sheets.

Until then corporate work for the majority of people will continue to be boring and drab unless you can start to see meaning in your own work and make sense and inject it with beauty and passion.

Have you done so? Are you an artist amongst plodders?

Tell me your story.

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Making Work Meaningful

YANGZHOU, CHINA - OCTOBER 17:  A worker carves...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

New site explores the changing world of work

I am going to be contributing to a new blog site that is being put together by the founders of Rypple.   The site is called Make Work Meaningful, and it will be dealing the way work is changing. You should check out the site if you want to discover how to motivate, focus, and align the people you work with.   Many different contributors, including me will be sharing tips and ideas that will help you learn how to build a meaningful coaching culture from the top minds in business.

If you want to see more on why the site was created, and how Rypple got involved, David Stein, Co-Ceo of Rypple shares his thoughts here.  If you would like to join this collaborative conversation and help shape what it becomes, you can do here.

Here is a teaser to my first post:

Be a better leader: Three leadership skills to develop

Michael VanDervort • Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Anyone out there had a candid conversation with their employees lately? Not a discussion about business objectives, or water cooler conversation, or even that performance appraisal that you had to do – you know, the one you dreaded because you had to tell someone that they aren’t getting a raise again this year.

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