Hello SOTGC community,
I confess I once approached work with the thought that I needed to make myself essential. I was the job and I got it done. That mindset is no longer helpful for the cry of my soul to work myself out of a job. My mind, heart, and emotions were awakened to the local and global treasury of leaders waiting to be empowered. So I offer you these thoughts of approaching self-preservation for the common good.
The old idea I had of self-preservation was to work as hard as I could to make myself essential and to complete the big goals I had for myself and my family. I realized, thankfully, that I was missing out, and so were the companies that hired me.
“Self-preservation is the enemy of collaboration and communication – not to mention productivity and efficiency. If we’re too focused on our own achievements, we forget about the big picture. We don’t care about the success of our coworkers and teams. We don’t work as hard toward common goals. This mentality of self-preservation is bad for companies, and it’s bad for individuals.”-Abby Perkins, Managing Editor at Talent Tribune as quote in “How to Work Yourself Out of A Job” November 14, 2014.
The new idea of self-preservation is to approach my own needs for the purpose of the common good. The common good is to acknowledge and activate the human resources around me while purposefully hitting the goal markers. Many organizations and individuals are noticing this allows for more productivity and efficiency as well as better communication and collaboration.
So, to approach self-preservation for the common good might require the following:
- Switching self-preservation for self-care
Employees who are motivated by self-preservation keep things to themselves and only visually care for team successes. Instead of positioning or posturing for your next goal, try caring well for yourself so that your own needs (physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and relational) are met. When you are healthy you have the capacity to share.
Sharing means intentionally and purposefully offering your time, knowledge, and expertise to others. When you take time to notice who is running beside you, or who might be a mighty apprentice, you can pass along what you know and increase the team benefit along with meeting your own goals.
- Moving from individual achievement to identifying the common good.
Congratulations on your recent “personal best” at work! Now, consider moving from hyper-focused on your own “bests” to an eye on identifying company goals, team goals, or area goals. More than likely, this will actually help you exceed your personal goals because more people are achieving the greater common good as well. Of course, it helps to identify and actually mutually agree on the common good, to have a team with enthusiasm equal to yours, and to recognize the common good is a goal greater than yourself and your own individual efforts.
- Move out of the four walls and enlarge your vision.
It’s easy to stay within your “four walls” whether those are literal or figurative. Take time to see what’s going on outside your office, cubicle, or screen. Be sure to enlarge your own vision with what is going on within the company, industry, city, or global sector. Practicing this minimally on a quarterly basis not only invites partnership, inspiration, and motivation, but it also creates the opportunities to enlarge your vision. We all know vision creates life!
All this is to say, when you approach self-preservation for the common good, you likely will end up with a stronger sense of self, a tighter work team, and a greater impact.
Practice self-care, identify the common good, and enlarge your vision.
- How does self-preservation find its way into your role or hats at work?
- Where could you begin to allow yourself to approach it differently?
- What is one hindrance to this approach in your current role?
One last consideration: In order to make this switch and approach self-preservation differently, we need to be in healthy relationships at work and home. Being in places we feel safe and enjoying healthy lifestyles is crucial to this whole approach functioning well.
I’m in it with you!