Corporations find themselves under a spotlight when their performance is at odds with society’s expectations of them — whether it is missing an earnings estimate, focusing on profits to the exclusion of all else, allowing mistreatment of employees, damaging the environment or simply failing to be aligned with their stated purpose. What tend to draw less notice are the less glamorous day-to-day operations and decision of the corporation. In pursuing their mission, enterprises focus on having the right talent, producing goods or services for their customers, investing in research/development, maintaining sufficient resources and advertising their brand. Yet those low-key tasks are the ones that are fundamental to keeping their doors open.
Your life is its own enterprise and as CEO of that enterprise, you’re responsible for ensuring that you are managing your life in similar ways as a corporation in order for you to grow and achieve your objectives. As with corporations, long-term success is often driven by a compelling vision of where you’re going and taking the necessary steps to align actions to support that vision. Let’s take a look at how this might look in your life.
Mission. Do you have a clear idea of your mission or purpose that helps you spring out of bed every morning? It’s easy to get sucked into the demands of the day, but if you don’t take time to identify what your purpose is and create plans to live in alignment with that purpose, no one else will do it for you. Without a driving purpose, you’re likely to be unsatisfied with life no matter how many achievements you may have because they’re not leading you towards something that is more meaningful to you.
Talent. Are you surrounding yourself with people who will help you achieve your purpose? While we are all capable of astounding growth and production, we can’t be the experts at everything. But we can create alliances with others who have amazing experience in a variety of areas and who can provide valuable feedback along the way. And it’s a two way street, because you have something others need as well. When we associate with others who are focused on growth and are inspiration, we support and urge each other on, creating more growth for all of us than what might be possible on our own.
Production. What are you creating and are you sharing it with the world? Are you using the best of your abilities to deliver your ideas, thoughts and gifts? Enterprises don’t last long when they’re focused on themselves rather than their customers and other stakeholders. As humans, we’re made to interact with others. When we give to others, we receive a blessing in the giving that creates more energy to share even more. The more we actively collaborate and listen, the more ideas we can generate to help others and to achieve our own objectives. If, however, we’re focused entirely on ourselves, the successes we may achieve will likely have a hollow ring as there’s no one to share them with.
Development. Are you taking time to develop your skills and improve your knowledge? This applies both personally and professionally. Technology is changing life in new ways and what worked for us right out of college is often not enough to get us to the next level in our careers. We must constantly seek out new learning opportunities, whether it is through courses or experience. Similarly, what are you doing to develop yourself personally? Are you taking time to improve your skills and knowledge for relationships, wellness, communication, parenting and other aspects that are important to you?
Resources. Are you fueling your body and brain in a way that provides consistent energy throughout the day and promotes your long-term health? While corporations would love to have an unlimited budget, they know it’s not reality. In our own lives, if we don’t pay attention to our health, we will quickly become overdrawn on our stores of sleep, mobility, nutrition and hydration, to name a few.
Brand. Is the image that you’re sharing with others aligned with the person you want to be? If you take a look at social media, there is intense pressure to create an image of what we think society wants, rather than being authentic about who we are and what we stand for. Giving in to that pressure creates a vicious cycle of pretending we’re someone else, being “liked” by others, and feeling even more disconnected from who we are and feeling alone despite being surrounded, literally or digitally, by “friends,” which creates more stress. Relax and be yourself. Your authentic brand will attract likeminded people who will support you than by liking a single post.
So what’s your plan for your enterprise?