Who is Served

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Last weekend, I participated in / spoke at a retreat for women of faith in Bear Lake, Utah.

Because I arrived the day before I spoke, I got to interact with the other participants and have personal conversations with many of the women.

If you know me at all, you know that when someone starts to talk about their dreams, I’m a little like Pavlov’s dogs; I start to salivate.

This is part of my WHY in my life and work. I want to help people see the possibilities of what they can do and who they can be. I want to be investing in people, concepts, and dreams.

I love doing that with C-Suite executives—I LOVE it. But I also love doing it with people who are just starting with an emergent dream, not fully formed. People who are on the launch point. In the harbor, raising the anchor perhaps, but the ship has not yet set sail.

For example, one woman I met at the retreat was Bonnie. She gave birth to four children and was a foster parent to an additional eleven children. When her youngest biological child was in high school, the family adopted six siblings, some of whom had significant mental health challenges.

All these children are now grown; with some of them, it was tough. Now she feels called to something new, and I don’t use that term loosely—she feels called to coach.

She was at the retreat trying to figure out, “How do I turn this dream into action; this inchoate thing that I know I am meant to do?”

This is where it got fun.

I was part of a group of four women listening to her story.

As she spoke, I realized that what was blindingly obvious to the other three of us, but seemingly not apparent to her, was that her launch point niche would be to coach parents, especially parents of foster and adoptive children and/or children with special needs.

That a-ha moment was meaningful to her, and I felt privileged to be part of the small group present when she had that a-ha.

Why do you do what you do?

We want to know why. What is it that animates an individual’s work? What motivates them in life?

But yesterday afternoon, I listened to a TEDx talk by David Burkus posing a question not about why but about who is served by the work that you do.

Isn’t that a great question for all of us to ask ourselves?

I know Bonnie was an example of a person I helped serve. I think you are too. I hope so.

And so is Steve Young––in a way. He is this week’s podcast guest, and that gave him an opportunity to share his ideas.

He’s an NFL Hall of Fame former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, now turned private equity investor. He wants us to understand The Law of Love (also the title of his book). Which if we understand and follow, we will grow, we will expand, and we will create conditions where others grow. And, of course, your organization will follow!

So, who is served by the work you do?

As always, thanks for being here.

My best,

P.S. We are giving away 5 copies of Steve’s book. If you’d like to be eligible, hit return, and say, I want to live the Law of Love.

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