Whether or not you have participated in the Great Resignation you likely have had your own period of Great Realization. As you’re moving away from pandemic-mode and putting yourself back into the driver’s seat of your life and career, you likely have found that some of your old habits and patterns are no longer serving you. Desires for meaningful change can make us feel both excited and overwhelmed. If you are feeling this way, you are not alone.
The American Psychological Association recently published the results of a survey about stress and decision-making during the pandemic. The results show that we have an entire generation of adults longing to make meaningful change but feeling too overwhelmed to even choose what to make for dinner. We feel positive about the future but bewildered by how to successfully navigate ourselves there.
For the last nearly 20 years, I have collaborated with some of the biggest dreamers, thinkers, and visionaries of our generation. I have been the right hand to some of the most effective CEOs in the world including Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, and Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google. I now consult with CEOs all over the world. While I specialize in reverse engineering moonshot goals at a global scale, the truth is that the secrets to the success of these CEOs equally applies to the rest of us “normal” people.
If I had to choose a single indicator of long term, high impact success it would be this: Be driven by purpose.
In my book, Bet on Yourself, I have created a simple ROI formula to help you Recognize opportunities, Own your dreams and Implement these new habits into your life whether you are an individual contributor, team leader, or CEO.
The first step in creating meaningful change is to define for yourself what success means to you. Mission statements can be as empowering for individual careers as they are for organizations.
Power, clarity, and energy come when you have quantified your purpose, values, and goals. An effective mission statement answers the following questions:
- Who do you want to serve and inspire?
- What do you want to contribute and provide them?
- How will you accomplish it?
Using the answers to these questions, put them into a single sentence that you can use as a mantra. Be as specific as possible! An effective mission statement empowers you to say yes to the right challenges and no to requests that drain your energy and are not aligned.
The second step is to implement a plan to take action toward your big dreams. Use your mission statement daily to:
- Audit how your time, resources, and influence are being spent and ensure that they are correlated.
- Identify areas in need of reinvestment and reinvention.
- Recognize what expertise you want to develop, what projects you want to seek out, what teammates you will need around you, and what resources and permissions to gather.
Now that you have a prioritized action plan, it’s time to get to work. Think about being purposeful and proactive, instead of reactionary in how you turn your dreams into reality. Now is the right time to:
- Gather your key stakeholders; your manager, mentors, and even life partner to create support and accountability around your goals.
- Create a roadmap for building your reputation, skills, and experience to get you noticed and open doors to new opportunities for growth.
- Broadcast a single focus for your direct reports and organization, so that everyone is working toward a common goal and has the same definition of success. Hire and incentivize your employees accordingly.
When our efforts are directly tied to what we value most in building and contributing, our work feels empowering and energizing. This is how you prevent burnout, increase perseverance, and bring more joy and satisfaction into our life. This is how you create a living legacy.
Ann Hiatt received her initial business training during 15 years as the executive business partner to Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) and chief of staff to Eric Schmidt (CEO and executive chairman at Google/Alphabet). She now consults with executives and companies across the globe to reverse engineer their moonshot goals and get results. She is the author of Bet On Yourself.