Are you ego driven in your career, or purpose driven? Which would you prefer to be, and why? How would both affect your leadership style?
Have you actually ever really considered this? I certainly hadn’t until recently, not in this context anyway. We all like to think that we are “purpose driven” – I was years in renewable energy investing, that’s purpose driven, right? Well…
An ego driven approach is kind of like wearing that approval-seeking mask, worn by so many of us! Chasing goals for the external recognition it will bring to your ego. This can take the form of validating your intellect and self-worth through a promotion or pay-rise. Or doing everything to close a deal, even if you know the documentation is sub-optimal, just to get it over the line and done so you can get the kudos for closing “the deal of the year” (big Bonies all round!).
But just think about it – after a loss or a failure, this style of self-management makes it so hard to recover. You can feel bruised, and kind of ashamed and defeated. This is also where the blame game starts – blaming yourself and others for the “failure”. You are effectively living by an external set of rules as you work tirelessly and blindly towards someone else’s goal, for that short-term recognition. I tell you, if that’s not unmotivating when you think about it, I don’t know what is!
But what if there was a different way to manage your success? You can still achieve the same amazing highs in your career – still work like a mad-woman if you want to, still win those deals, still nail those promotions, but in a far more motivated, focused and yet peaceful state?
When you are purpose driven, you are motivated effortlessly whilst actually enjoying the process – yes, even the “boring” stuff! A purpose driven person has the bigger picture in mind, and is after their own self-improvement and doesn’t aspire tirelessly for external validation. They feel joy and satisfaction when others in their team are successful, as they understand that there is room for success in this world for everyone, and “win-win” is always achievable. These people seek to master their processes – something they have implicit control over – rather than trying to control the outcome, which they very likely have little to no control over.
Don’t get me wrong, purpose driven individuals still have goals – promotions, cracking a pay range, etc. but they know that the process is what they have control over, not that final outcome, so they are able to focus their time and efforts into mastering exactly what they have control over. This might be connecting with more people, extra training, more reading, or practicing a specific skill.
By “purpose-driven”, I’m not referring to having no goals, or working just in renewable energies, or for a non-profit organisation or similar. Absolutely not! Goals are absolutely admirable and needed for focus, and to help you find the right path for you.
The subtlety in ego driven vs purpose driven is in the “why”.
A person’s “why” is rarely “because I want to be Managing Director by the time I’m 35”. So, what’s yours? I challenge you to think about this, even just for a moment. Really think…
An ego driven person will do anything to achieve that externally-defined end goal, and places their value and self-worth in achieving just that. Their motivation comes from external validation and recognition, which can be fleeting or even non-existent. Sounds pretty exhausting and discouraging to me!
Purpose driven people notice that their self-worth is not in the achievement of the end goal, but rather doing everything they can to set themselves up to be successful on their own terms, satisfied, open to learning, motivated and focused. They focus on just being the very best they can be, in their work and in their life, so that these goals will come of their own volition at the same time as their “why” is being fulfilled.
Don’t get me wrong, both styles of self-management will get the job done. But as the saying goes, when you find your “why” you’ll uncover your “how”, and things effortlessly fall into place.
To discover your “why” and more about having a “mastery” mindset, book in now for a free 45 minute Moxie Discovery Call below and we’ll get you to those lofty dreams of yours, together!