Why Do I Do This?

A New Year’s Reflection

January 1, 2014

Sometimes we feel a sense of unease at the motivations of others. Often, that sense is justified. Our instincts kick in, and we know something is a little bit “off”, even if we can’t identify what.

Why am I the CEO of Team Results USA, why do I write books and articles, why do I love running leadership programs, why do I appear on radio and TV? Is it to make myself important, to make me “correct” and others “incorrect”, to gain status or recognition, to promote my unimportant ego, to put attention on myself and away from others? Or is there a more genuine purpose? Perhaps I really care about the workplace, maybe it really bothers me that so many people at work have a tear in their heart, perhaps I’ve just found a job I’m good at and really enjoy. Perhaps not. Your own situation will be different, but there’s always that subtext of intention, that purity of spirit and purpose, that battle between inward focus and outward focus that we think is a deep secret but in fact can be very apparent. That inner tension is one of the greatest things we have in common as human beings.

The best way I have found to decode this is to ask whether people are focused on themselves or on others. The more I am focused on myself and my own importance, the worse I do. The less “me” I allow to get in the way, the more I focus on others and the needs of others, the better I do, the better I feel, and the cheekier I can be in my own life’s ambitions. People who are focused on others are a joy to be with, and I leave with a spring in my step. People who are focused on themselves wear me out.

If that’s true for me, I figure it’s possibly true for you, too. So my ambition this year will be to make myself smaller, you larger, and to make sure I’m in tune with the big world every day.

Happy holidays!

John Kolm 🙂

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