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Stay Put. Add Value.

It’s January, and everyone is working on our New Year’s resolutions. We’re goal setting. We’re working out. We’re dieting. We’re planning new projects. We’re organizing our calendars. In our work life, many of us have a goal this year to get promoted, change jobs, and perhaps join a bigger company. It’s part of our ambition to get ahead. Our desire is to be recognized for our contributions. Our feeling as t ...

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Sacrifice or Pleasure?

My observation is that sacrifice is not a popular notion in our culture. It has bad implications. When you sacrifice, you lose something, you give something up. It might be hard, uncomfortable, even painful. Who would WANT that? Pleasure is a very popular notion in our culture. It has a good vibe. It is now. It is fun. It is satisfying. Pleasure is easy, immediate, and without responsibility. No worries. Wh ...

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Career Path? Life Path?

We often gain insight from questions we are asked. Particularly when the questions are on topics we were not thinking about at the time. Recently, I have been asked twice to describe my career path to groups of young leaders. Ostensibly, the young leaders were interested in how one gets to the position of CEO; what path do you take? This is not something I was thinking about and it led to these observations ...

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Are You An Inspiring Role Model?

In my work, I often have opportunities to meet great leaders and to learn from their wise counsel. Recently, I met such a leader and he was kind enough to spend an hour with me sharing his observations about leadership. It was a gift. This leader served in elected and appointed positions of public service. What follows are excerpts from my hour with the 79th Attorney General, John Ashcroft, who also served ...

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Put Your Purpose to the Test

When my daughter was getting ready to go to college, my husband gave her this book to read: How to Win at College: Surprising Secrets for Success from the Country's Top Students by Cal Newport. Among other things, it gives the future college student real world tips on what the top students do to succeed on campus. It includes advice on study habits, party habits, resume building and more. Perhaps the most s ...

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Take Action on Your Personal Purpose

One of my many shortcomings is that I hate exercise. I've never experienced that adrelin rush thing that athlete's talk about. For me, exercise is just sweat and muscle aches, and I don't enjoy either of those things. Now rationally, I know that exercise is good for my body and that is why I do it. But I am certainly not passionate about it. And if you invite me to breakfast any day next week, I'll happily ...

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Defining Your Personal Purpose for Work

This week I had a wonderful conversation with a young man named James at Regent University. He came up to talk to me at the end of my teaching on the Purpose of Leadership. He explained to me that he saw  personal purpose as finding your center of gravity. James has competed in wheelchair sports, and he told me that until you figure out your center of gravity in a wheelchair, you are doomed to fall over. Ja ...

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Your Values: Do they come to work?

The second step in the discovery of your personal purpose is determining the top priority values that you want to be evident in your life at work. All of us have values that are important to us. And if I asked you to tell me some of your values you would quickly give me a list. But today I want to ask you to do more than that. For to determine your personal purpose in life and work, you need to make some ve ...

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Life Lessons

The first step in finding your personal purpose for work and life is to look back over the experiences of your life thus far. If we rush forward, without time for reflection on what we have learned so far, we miss important lessons. Set aside time to reflect on the lessons of your life. Using the Lifeline exercise, spend some quiet time reviewing your life thus far. Life is a succession of lessons which mus ...

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Personal Purpose in Action: Scott MacLellan

A couple of weeks ago I shared with you the importance of knowing WHY you work and how you can put into words your purpose of leadership. While we’ve tried to make the process simple, knowing where to begin can often be difficult. Over the next eight weeks, I’d like to share with you interviews with Popeyes leaders as well as leaders at other companies that are inspired by personal purpose. Leaders who have ...

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