In Climbing the Ladder, Transformational Leaders

Does this situation sound familiar? You work hard to climb the corporate ladder. You burn the candle on both ends to get there. When you get to the corner office or the next rung in the corporate ladder, after the initial euphoria of meeting your goal wears off, the grind remains.  At various points in our careers it is easy to burn-out. According to a Gallup survey, 71% of US employees are disengaged.  Research shows that engagement levels are not just linked to productivity but also health and well being.

It’s easy for us to disengage, leaving our full passionate selves at the door when we enter our workplaces. We ask ourselves “Is the effort worth it to continue to climb the corporate stair master?” The answer to the latter question is very personal. However, one thing is pretty clear. As women leaders, our passion for what we do is a big part of our success and fulfillment, as well as our power. As one of my favorite poets, Rumi says “Respond to every call that excites your spirit.” So how do we reignite that passion for what we do?

Five “P”‘s to Reignite Our Career Passion

Here are five steps to reignite the passion and fall in love again with what we do. It’s the process that I’ve pursued to create work that truly feels like my calling, and fuels me every day.

1)  Peak Experiences – Write about the jobs or experiences in your career that you absolutely loved or aspects of your current job that put a spring in your step. Look for the common themes. For me it was situations where I had opportunities to coach and mentor my team, challenging and entrepreneurial assignments, and my time spent with my customers understanding how to create value.  What is it for you?

2)  Personal Brand – A big part of our engagement in our jobs is whether we have the ability to fully express our talents and strengths in the job and connect the impact we are making to what is personally important to us. Take the time to articulate your personal brand. Reflect upon your purpose, strengths and core values. Here is a talk by Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi about how her experiences as a child shaped Pepsi’s “Performance with Purpose”. Recognize that your personal story is a big part of you as a leader. The peak experiences exercise will help you articulate your personal brand by helping you identify not just how you create value in your job but also what brings you great joy.

3)  Position Alignment – Connect the role you are in proactively to your articulation of your personal brand. How can you bring more of your personal brand to be successful and fulfilled in your work? One of Gallup’s measures of employee engagement is “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday”. Do you fully capitalize on this opportunity? If your work is not fully aligned with your personal brand, find ways to transition into work that is more congruent.

4)  People – This is one of the most important areas of reigniting your passion and engagement. Several of the 12 Gallup employee engagement statements have to do with whether your our supervisor and others around us recognize our contributions, encourage our development, care about us as people, and whether there is a “best friend” we have at work. Ask yourself, who are the people that I work with and know who fulfill these roles for me and who I fulfill these roles for. Proactively seek out mentors and sponsors and play that role for others.

5)  Past-times – We need to find time for what energizes and refuels us. When we are fully energized we are better able to be engaged and engage others.  I recommend the Energy Audit  to executive coaching clients. The energy that we generate from pursuing personal passions is contagious.  It lifts our spirits and it is essential for engaging, motivating and leading people around us.

If this resonated for you, please comment, subscribe and share with others.

Additional Resources:

The Authentic Brand YOU – Workshop to discover leadership purpose and brand

Make It Personal – Engagement At Work – Workshop

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