Newsletter: Purpose Isn’t Found, It’s Built
In our work at Mountaintop, we focus not just on helping people build “successful” careers, but on helping them build fulfilling careers. That last portion is often the difference between burning out or waking up looking forward to the workday. Interestingly, the magic to fulfillment and thriving in a workplace is often largely about how you look at it.
The importance of perspective reminds me of an interaction I had late one night when working on an M&A deal in investment banking. I had an IT problem and called the company help desk. The tech who answered the phone quickly solved my problem and stood out by having a really upbeat attitude about it. As I was thanking him for his helpfulness, he said, “No problem. It’s my job to make sure you can get deals done.“
What a fascinating way for him to view his role on the help desk! He did not just think he needed to handle the ticket or close it out in a set period of time (which were likely the things on which he was measured). Instead, he connected the dots between the importance of doing his core tasks well and the overall strategy and success of the company, which hinged on effective deal execution and taking great care of clients.
That way of thinking – taking a step back and contextualizing work in terms of the outcomes it enables – was likely the source of his sense of reward and his great attitude. I’ve seen that pattern repeatedly in my career and in the experiences of our most fulfilled clients.
When I founded Mountaintop, I was teased for speaking about our work with almost missionary zeal, as though saving the world one lawyer at a time. I got the joke. I also saw that something as simple as helping someone craft an elevator speech or better understand which areas of their business were the most profitable, so they extracted the highest value for their time, sparked confidence and focus that enabled people to have the kinds of careers and lives they wanted.
What greater good do you facilitate? I’d love to hear about it.
Precious Williams Owodunni | President & Founder of Mountaintop Consulting
This letter was originally published in Mountaintop Consulting’s monthly newsletter. You can read the full newsletter here.
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