Many of us feel we are at a point in our lives
when the presence of meaning at work has become essential. Or, maybe, its
absence has started to be incredibly annoying…?
Not that it didn’t matter earlier, but as we have
“grown up” a bit more, especially since many of us have achieved a decent level
of financial well-being, we’ve come to realize happiness and non-financial
well-being haven’t always come in the same “package”.
Of course, happiness is subjective, but that is
not the point of this article so let’s begin…
One of the topics introduced at our last leadership development program in June was self-awareness. Research shows that it is among the top 5 executive coaching topics (and often the first of interest).
Most of us know that self-awareness is one of the main components of emotional intelligence along with self-regulation, empathy, motivation* and social awareness. However very few of us are actually self-aware because it is a skill that could be developed with a pretty high amount of effort, discipline and patience.
Some of you might know about one of my major interests in contributing to a better education system in Romania and that together with some wonderful people, we are in the early stages of planning the introduction of compassion and kindness training in schools, as early as possible, via the efforts we do with AVE, its collaborators and many more.
As recruiters, both in K.M.Trust (our executive search & leadership consulting firm) and Key2Success (our mid-management recruitment firm), we receive almost daily requests from people considering a career move or in need of career advice.
Despite the fact that “one size does not fit all” there are some general steps I would recommend in such cases and thought of sharing them with you:
Talking recently to a friend of mine about the mental models of leadership, about adaptability, about navigating today’s “waters” and the mindset required for it, I realized the “work – life balance” concept is totally… stupid. Especially in times when most of us look more and more for meaningfulness in our lives (both at work and outside work).
As wines become excellent or stay mediocre depending significantly on the terroir and on the winemaker, the same way we humans develop successfully or stay mediocre depending significantly also on the ecosystem around and on how we contribute to it.
Despite the fact 99% of the people I meet complain about stress and about feeling often overwhelmed, the majority still focuses on physical fitness to reduce stress – which is great and does a lot in this direction yet not enough.
As we all know, the one big missing piece in the education system is the fact that it hasn’t yet incorporated mind training in the curriculum despite solid research evidence showing its incredible benefits. and despite neuroscientists (and not only) having been writing tons of books about “mental fitness” being critical for a healthy life and better relationships – actually the ultimate goal for most of us.