Bring Yourself to Work

Business meeting
July 14, 2016

From time-to-time I disengage and carve out space for personal reflective soul-searching. I think about my purpose in life, values, life principles, and “what do I want to be when I grow up?” During one such time, I challenged myself to draft a personal mission statement based on my answers. Personally and professionally, I am immensely grateful I did because I found my personal mission statement integrates seamlessly into the organizational mission of the company where I am employed. I get to bring myself to work.

As Director of an Employee Assistance Program, I also commit myself to supporting my team members in integration of their own personal missions into the mission we pursue organizationally for our customers and those impacted by life’s crises. 

This initiative is driven by belief that thoughtful, intentional integration of the individual employee’s personal mission into the organization’s mission produces a culture supportive of meaningful, motivated, high-quality workdays and careers. I believe this integration is especially true in the stressful, high-impact, high-visibility world of behavioral health. Involvement entails more of a sense of calling than a sense of vocation. The delivery of competent compassion involves more of who you are and why you do it than what you do. You can’t fake compassion.

Regardless of your industry, I encourage you to dig just a bit deeper to find ways to bring your own unique skills, resources, and passions to your workplace. Then find ways to facilitate that integration for those who look to you for leadership. Ask your team members how you can help them integrate what is most important to them personally into what you do together as a team. You will be amazed at how often their passions will support your business objectives.

Too often the tyranny of the urgent distracts us from what is important and leads to superficially-generated weariness. Task accomplishment minus connection to meaning looks and feels like an octopus on roller skates – lots of activity that really goes nowhere. The important work you do together certainly warrants it, plus life is too short and the days are too long.

Contributed by Bob VandePol, Executive Director, Employee Assistance Program, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.

Join us for the “Leadership: Characteristics of Teams that Trust” webinar on July 20, 2016 with Bob VandePol.