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Think Like a Champion

A close friend asked me the other day why I like to blog, podcast and share ideas. While it was rooted in concern for my time - it was a fair question. Like most of the people who follow Strengths2Lead or Essentially You, I try to work smart and hard. I love what I do as I get to use my strengths every day at work and in life.

However, it took some growth for me to arrive at this point, I’ve always desired to perform like a champion. In my first endeavor I dreamed of a career as an active-duty military officer – it never happened. In my second attempt, I would have earned the title of Manager of the Year – I never earned it. The third attempt I remember how bad I wanted it…to be a Whatever it Takes to Win award winner – I fell short.

The first part of my career was really all about me. That didn’t go so well.

It wasn’t until my mindset shifted that I began to see results. My motivations shifted from “me” to “we” and it made all the difference in helping me to rock at work and love my life.

There seemed to be two distinctive ways I thought about my work life. The first was what the world could offer me. I wanted the prize, award, and title. The second was what I could offer the world. I learned that I have more satisfaction helping others win at work. Cal Newport defines this as the Passion (me) vs. Craftsman (we) mindsets.

As a leader fueled by passion (me) I was driven and yet out of alignment. I tried to win all the awards - always falling short. As a craftsman (we), I put in the hours of long work and overhauled the person I am. I up leveled my skills and became very good at what I do. I began being very intentional about giving more than I take and offering the world the best I have. The end result was a more noticeable impact at work.

The bottom line when we reach a level of purpose and passion, we must be willing to put in necessary work to perfect our craft. The secret to rocking our work so that we can love our life is hard work and determination. It’s why I say to be you and know your stuff. It makes all the difference in the world.

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