Working with a purpose
It's easy to lose sight of what you're working toward in today's culture. Our days are busier than ever – there never seems to be enough hours to accomplish what we want – and technology, while helpful in most circumstances, has also created a lot of distractions.
SmartBrief's leadership and management senior editor James daSilva writes about asking yourself "What is it for?" in your daily work, big picture thinking and when communicating with others to make sure you're working effectively and with a purpose.
Here are some things to consider in each of daSilva's circumstances to make sure you're staying focused.
Daily tasks. As things unexpectedly arise, it's easy to have the mindset of solving it as quickly and easily as possible. Take the time to think about the cause and solution, otherwise you'll likely face a similar problem in the future.
It's also important to have a purpose for each of your tasks and meetings. If it's not getting you closer to your ultimate goal, should you be doing it?
Big picture. I wrote earlier this year about the importance of having a clear vision. Without vision, your organization has no direction. At NAFCU we take our positions on laws and regulations and focus our advocacy, compliance and education efforts on the things that will help credit unions grow.
daSilva encourages leaders to ask "What is it for?" when implementing new products or services, and hiring. He also hits on a point I wrote about last week – developing internal talent – to not only save your organization resources, but also to keep employees feeling engaged and appreciated.
Communicating. Each day leaders interact with different audiences. You might have a budget discussion with your Board of Directors, a check-in with a direct report, or a meeting with an industry official. In each of this situations, your tone and intention will be different.
Before heading into these situations, make sure you have a clear understanding of what you what to get out of the conversation and hone your communication style to achieve it.
"What is it for?" is an important question to ask. We start each year motivated to grow and accomplish our goals, but those New Year's resolutions can quickly fall by the wayside when we get busy.
By thinking about and understanding the purpose of everything you – and your organization – do, you'll stay focused and be more likely to see progress toward your vision and mission.
Follow me on Twitter (@BDanBerger).
About the Author
B. Dan Berger became NAFCU president and CEO on Aug. 1, 2013. He was promoted to executive vice president of government affairs in July 2009 after joining NAFCU in January 2006 as senior vice president of government affairs overseeing five divisions including legislative affairs, regulatory affairs, research/economics, regulatory compliance and political affairs/PAC.