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December 21, 2017

The “What” of Impact: Being the Resolution

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Do you know someone who is so driven to leverage impact that the impact itself has become more important than the issue they’re solving for? For example, I worked with a CEO who had become so consumed with day to day operations that he was no longer engaged with the innovation that drove him to start the company and that led to the massive success they are now experiencing. He’d lost his connection to the “what,” and he knew he needed support to get back to it, both for his own sense of vitality and for the ongoing success of the company. He caught it in time; not every leader does.   

Losing connection to the “what” is likely to happen when you haven’t taken the time to figure out what real-world issues or problems you’re positioned to solve, you drifted from the focus that got you into the game in the first place (like the CEO above), or because you’ve given up on the possibility of making a positive difference in the world. Without a clear line of sight to the what for the impact, it’s hard to create a solid plan to get there and to keep the momentum going along the way. Instead of maximizing impact, you’ll end up dampening it.

Do you know your “what”? 

If you don’t know what it is or lost sight of it you’ll notice some or all of the following:

  • A sense of apathy about making a contribution or difference.
  • Skepticism about your—or anyone’s—ability to make a genuine difference.
  • Resentment for or jealousy of others who are making a difference or trying to make a difference.
  • You blame people or situations for being less than what they might be.
  • Even your successeses lack a feeling of meaning or substance.
  • You keep seeking bigger and bigger successes, but never feel satisfied when you achieve them.

If you’re going going going, but don’t know your “what,” then what?

Slow down. Slow. Down. What you seek isn’t in constantly upping the ante with success or impact. You’re likely burning yourself out with your intensity and fire. If you don’t slow down, there’ll be no more fuel to burn at some point.

Slow. Down.

Then, with some space, you’ll have the opportunity to chart a different path to impact, one that honors you and what you’re trying to solve for in the world.

The antidote to resentment, apathy, and the feeling of hollow success is to commit to—or recommit to—being the resolution to actual problems in your life and the world. Commitment #15 of the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leaderships lays down the mindset to align yourself with:I commit to being the resolution or solution that is needed: seeing what is missing in the world as an invitation to become that which is required.

This isn’t easy; it involves getting over yourself: your sense of importance and your stories about what you’re supposed to be doing and how you’re supposed to be showing up. But it’s worth it because what you seek through the intensity of impact can actually be found by identifying worthwhile “whats” to focus your impact towards.

Identifying your “Whats”

Download this PDF handout—Being the Resolution—that walks you through a process to arrive at your whats, and to lay out a plan to take action.  

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