noun a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

It’s a word that’s been top of mind lately. As authentic leaders we strive to provide an environment where those we lead can perform, grow and reach their purpose, or meaning.

I have had an internal debate about whether I look for purpose or meaning. Whichever one it is I strive for, lately I’ve noticed that unless something brings joy, I’m hesitating.

A colleague and I engaged in a coaching conversation today. We challenged each other on blocks that people have to finding joy. It is the nature of the work? Is it too much work? Or is it just a mindset.


Work won’t always bring us joy. Sometimes it’s just hard. Our personal objectives won’t always bring us joy. Getting there can be hard.

But on the way through I reckon we should be finding some joy. Not just from reaching a purpose, finding a meaning, or even reaching a goal. But on the way through.

Reminding ourselves “these are the good old days“.¬† Making it a daily challenge to find the mindset that brings joy to us is not easy, but worth a try for our own sense of purpose or meaning, and our teams.



Keeping your purpose alive

At the end of the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” the character played by Dame Judi Dench implores us to spend our lives, no matter what stage we’re at, in doing those things that matter to us, that give us meaning and purpose.

I’m writing this on the plane after twenty four hours in Dunedin. Tonight is a function, tomorrow a half marathon and at least two more trips in the next 10 days. In between there are reports to finalise, emails to respond to and an over full week ahead. Sound familiar?

I’m not the most relaxed flyer but some seriously concentrated conditioning over the last three months has gone a long way to cure that! But the flight, if nothing else, gives me time too breathe and relax. And think about purpose.

I try to live with purpose and meaning for those things that matter to me and try to ensure that those things take priority. Right now I’m finding thinking about purpose incredibly difficult with the intensity and pressure of multiple works obligations.

I console myself that the work is of course part of my purpose. Which it is. But it ain’t everything.

So I’m giving myself two extra flights to wish my Mum a happy birthday in person. She’s 81 and living in her Marigold Hotel with Dad as they should be!

Now that’s something that matters.