Conway Daily Sun
August 8, 2012
By Michael Kline
As promised in my last column, I want to share lessons learned and/or relearned in this spring of change we’ve experienced in our businesses. In case you missed it, we moved one retail store, opened another new retail concept, and dramatically increased our seminar activity. This brought about three lease negotiations, hiring 6 new people, establishing about a dozen new supplier relationships and rethinking what really matters to us personally and professionally. All this made for fertile ground for lesson-learning and character building, I assure you. The last column shared four lessons in commercial leases. Today we’re talking about integrity and personal missions.
I am blessed to be able to deliver a series of workshops to employees of Memorial Hospital as part of their Culture of
Excellence movement. A recent workshop involved writing personal mission statements, which of course necessitated making a connection between work and personal missions. If our work is incongruent with what matters most to us in life, we will never be as effective as we would, if there was integrity.
Teaching this seminar also inspired me to update my own personal mission statement.This caused me to realize that business owners have the same problem as employees in this area. We went down a work path because of a passion, or maybe because of a need for income. We got embroiled in the thick of it, to a point where it now defines who we are; it is what we do. We need to know what is most important to us, what makes us our highest and best versions of ourselves, what we admire in others that we wish we could emulate, what we want our lives to
have been about when it’s all over. These answers help us define our life’s personal journey while we can
still direct it. I asked a young friend recently what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said“happy and interesting”. I was convinced that she is officially grown up! If you want to be more effective at work, decide what values, experiences and relationships are most important to you and your family. Find a way to draw a connection between your work and your personal mission. This may require a career change, or maybe just a shift in the way you look at your work. Perhaps the solution is to use your personal ability to work on things that are within your area of influence to make small changes in your work place or home.
When the work we do contributes to something greater, we are more effective. When the work we hire others to do matters to them, they will be more effective. Is it even possible to create meaningful work out of mundane everyday work-related chores?
I certainly hope so. As for my friends that work at the hospital, they have the blessing of important work either directly helping people in the most serious and literal sense of the word, or supporting the work of people who do. In retail, we have the blessing of helping someone acquire something they worked to be able to acquire – something fun or useful, something inspiring or uplifting, or maybe a gift to express their affection or appreciation for someone else. I dare say that is important work, even if it isn’t everyone’s highest calling or biggest challenge. I hope you will join me on this journey of figuring out what really matters to us as individuals and how to help others figure it out for themselves. Dr. Stephen Covey calls this the 8thHabit – Find your voice and help others find theirs.
Michael Kline is a local retailer, success coach and trainer. He may be reached through his website, www.klineseminars.com, or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.