Recently I have been considering how my definition of success has changed over time. Along with re-thinking what it means for me to be successful, I have also been thinking about how my current view of what makes me successful impacts the way I approach transitions in my life.
Let me explain. At one point in my life, success for me was about achievement. I wanted to have certain things. I wanted education, status (I remember how excited I was with my first business cards with the title ‘manager’ on them) and of course, a 3 bedroom home in the suburbs. I had arrived with two children, two vehicles and two bathrooms in our well decorated house. Success was quantifiable. Creating a plan that helped achieve those outcomes was doable and relatively simple.
As I have matured, and achieved most of those things, I changed. Sometimes we refer to this shift as personal reinvention but I think the word redefining works well. I was redefining success for myself. Contribution, meaning, community, and connection became more and more important to me. I want to feel that what I do has an impact. As I experienced my own transformation, I found myself longing to do work that was transformative.
Transformative work, as I understand it, involves helping people in whatever context I work in, to have a compelling vision of what is possible for themselves and their organizations in the future. I believe that future is emerging and it can be difficult work to envision it. It involves suspending our judgments, seeing the whole system, letting go of our ego and being willing to embrace change. This process is definitely not simple!
When I work with organizations, leaders, teams and individuals, I want to help in this transformation process. I believe we are more open to this work during times of transition in our lives. We’ve ended something and we are looking to the future with hope and optimism to discover what is next. If you are interested in dialoguing about what this would look like individually, for your team or your organization, let me know!