Tag Archives: Purpose

purpose, preparation...

When we are clear about our contribution to the world we will use all channels available to make that contribution happen.

Leaders with a purpose are ready to tackle any challenge that comes in their way, even their own uncomfortableness. Yesterday, I held a workshop on networking for introverts, nerds and academics. My basic message was that once you know why you are in the game and have developed the right strategy to play it, networking is as easy as ABC. What sounds easy to me though seems a challenge to many of my clients and as you could be one of my clients you might struggle with similar questions.

  • Do you tell yourself that you are not worthy, not good enough or that you will never be as good as Peter, Paul or Mary?
  • Do you tell yourself that you cannot go out there, leave your shell (which is the distance between your eyes and your smartphone) and just be in a crowd of people?
  • Do you get anxiety attacks when you need to speak in public, in front of a larger group or when you have to present to senior management?
  • Do you sometimes wonder how an American presidential candidate can draw large crowd when all his content is based on hate and polarization?
  • Do you wonder how TV-Shows survive where the most intelligent sentence urged is “Hello, my name is Samantha”?

I sometimes do. And there are days when I feel like staying in bed but then true to my inner Hobbit-spirit I get up anyway. Cheerful with cup of coffee and am ready to walk another day towards Mordor with that ring around my neck that weighs heavily on me. My ring is the urge to help international professionals achieve what they would like to achieve in their international work and life. I serve the global people club (would it not be cute to have air hosts and hostesses dressed up as hobbits or characters from movies once in a while?).

Back to you: I think you should step out of your nerd narrative and consider to make contact with the human race. I will hold your hand and teach you a few strategies if you let me.

It’s time to question a basic theory of economics which is the homo oeconomicus because this theory is flawed. It assumes that human beings act rationally most of the time while increasing evidence of neuroscience proves that this is not the case. If you read German you can check out “Die emotionalen Grundlagen des Denkens” by Luc Ciompi. A lighter read is “Give and Take” by Adam Grant where Adam shows that “Givers” are more successful professionals in the long game. “Takers” might win a short race and “Matchers” will survive in organizations but both strategies are limited.

If you are into “game theory” and have worked with prisoner’s dilemma simulations, you have probably understood this principle already but we hardly meet others who feel the same way.

Next to having the right attitude I believe in the four P’s of networking: Purpose, Preparation, Presence and Promises.

1) Purpose:

Your networking purpose is defined by these questions:

  • What is my contribution to the world right now?
  • Which important goal would I like to achieve within the next three month?
  • How can networking help me to achieve this goal?
  • Do I already know who to network with?

2) Preparation

Before larger events but also 1:1 exchanges it helps to prepare yourself with these questions:

  • Who am I going to meet?
  • What have these professionals achieved?
  • What do we share or have in common?
  • What could I offer them as a favor?
  • What could I give them as a gift?

3) Presence

One of the major social barriers in 2016 is lack of attention. If you can learn to be fully present and in the moment and listen to your counterpart your interactions will be deeper and more satisfactory. Withhold your negative judgement for an hour and keep an open heart.

4) Promises

For me the easiest way to network is when I can help someone with a favor. Often, when I attend an event I make a promise for a connection or to send an information to the other person. It’s a great way to ensure the next contact. Then if we want to deepen the relationship I might ask them for lunch or coffee.

1I have clients telling me that they do not make enough money. In one conversation I recently suggested to consider to turn around the perspective: Put aside what you would like to save and see how much you have left to spend. Will you still struggle? Or is your need to consume just a valve for stress release? Find out what your poverty story loop is and learn five ways to find back into reality.
1) Observe your poverty story loop and write it down when you recognize it.
A poverty story loop is a recurring theme that you tell yourself about what will happen to you. It is usually negative and involves that you will live under a bridge, lose all your possessions and similar scenarios. Without going into the deep psychology of the why, I would like to encourage you to write down your poverty story loop when you recognize it.
I will just always have enough money to get by. I will not be hungry but never live in luxury. This is a story I was told when I was around 22 years old. Somehow it made sense to me then. I often notice that the story becomes stronger in my head when I spend time with my mother. She has a theme that must be related to being the oldest child of a large family after the 2nd world war in Germany. My mother is very good at saving money. I am not but I used to spend a lot more when I earned more. So here’s the catch: I have never been poor but I worry about money a lot since I started a company. Other people worry about health but I am not too concerned here. What is your poverty story loop? Write it down.
2) Run a reality check by writing down the counter-theory
Have you got a favorite crime story where you notice that the suspect is not the real murderer? Think about this as you write your counter-theory. Note down all the luxury you have in this world such as a big car, beautiful inner city apartment, five weeks of holiday time, trips to St. Anton and NYC. I think you understand my point, now go and jot down your counter theory. After you completed this exercise check if you still believe the story. Check all your bank accounts, count your cash and bring all the pennies and foreign currency to the bank. Cash all your cheques. Are you still poor?
3) Note down a list of wishes and take a break from impulse shopping
It might be possible to have all that we wish for. You just need to become clearer on what you wish for. It helps to write your wishes down. When your story is about money you could consider everything you need to have versus what you just want to have. For example: When you already have five suits: Do you really need one more or you just want one more? When you already have a functioning car: Do you really need a Porsche?
I have a lot of wishes on my wish list that I don’t really need. They are luxury items. Since I started to write them down I have less desire to buy them. Try it out and force yourself to wait for a month before you are allowed to buy anything that you just want. Do you still want it?
If you spend too much money when you go out you can use a simple trick we used as students: Only take as much cash with you as you are allowing yourself to spend that night. You can also check out my tricks for less affluent entrepreneurs.
4) Listen to the story voice again and tell me who this voice belongs to.
Is this really your story? Did you suck this one up with your mother’s milk or did you see your father struggling with this theme too? If you recognize the story as someone else’s write down the name of the person who owns the story. If it is you than you might understand that you can change the story into a wealth story. If you notice that it is someone else’s story keep it there.
5) Focus on other important aspects in life
Money and financial security are nice to have but too much money is also a stress factor. We have had a bit of money and lost a lot Provided you have enough money to survive and feed yourself and your loved ones ask yourself if you really need and want more money. Living in a safe place where you can voice your opinion is priceless. Being healthy is god-given and having family and friends who love you is amazing. Having healthy children is a miracle. Focus on other
Rock Me!
Leaders are not born. We can work with you to become a global leader.

As a global leader (executive or opinion leader) you might ask yourself how you can stop wasting your energy on less important tasks and less helpful thoughts. For me it all boils down to your leadership vision for making the world a better place and your purpose in this life.

Step One: Visualise your leadership vision

Have you thought about your vision already? Great. Then visualise it. Put it in a painting, collage, video or write an essay about it. The most important strategy is that you put it on a paper instead of churning and turning it in your head and heard. For example our leadership vision at GPT is “We aspire a world of peace and prosperity for all people.”

Step Two: Define your purpose in this life

Your purpose in this life might not be as “grand” and honourable as your leadership vision but it is helpful if you put in words, an image or a fotograph. We decided that our purpose is this “Through our global mobility expertise, executive coaching and intercultural training we help our clients to build better relationships across the world.” Your purpose can also relate to your personal life. You could say “I want to be a trusted companion for all my friends. I want to be a nurturing parent. I want to support younger colleagues and friends as a good mentor.”

Step Three: Say it in an easy tagline

Once you understand your leadership vision and purpose in life you need to be able to say it in a way that common people will understand why you get up in the morning. For GPT we used this sentence “We help global people get better – every day!” This is our “tagline” and our motto. It is the reason for our team to contribute to the company.

Step Four: Check your diary

Is your professional time and personal time aligned with your leadership vision, purpose in life and tagline. If you do not work with a diary you might want to write one and at the end of each day give yourself credit for the interactions you had that were actually aligned with your leadership vision, purpose in life and tagline.

Please let us know your tagline in the comment section.

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