We try to define who we are by our roles, titles, duties, traits, accomplishments, and various group memberships. Though these are completely inadequate substitutions, we cling to them and will fight to defend them. Clinging and fighting leads to uncertainty, misery, and politics. They thus waste our time and energy. This form of identity detracts from results.
But there’s another way of understanding identity. We can recall that who we are is ineffable. Like the taste of a strawberry, no words can accurately describe who we are but we can completely sense it and know it.
We leaders get to seek, see, and encourage this sense in others. We can use words. For example, “We are sparks, nay, bolts of endless awareness, attention, discernment, and creativity. Remember?” More powerfully (and potentially less confusingly) we can communicate it with our quiet intention and caring.
We then invite them to play out this sense of who they are on the stage of our common, compelling, concrete work goals. And, as they do, we benefit from great business results and from getting to see and know who we are.
In your corner,