“[The vocation you are called to] is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Frederick Buechner, a beloved author and theologian, wrote these words in his book Wishful Thinking. Take a moment to pause and ponder the idea.
Think about your current role and your organization’s function and purpose:
- Does your daily work arise from a place of joy? Can you say with sincerity that you are (overall, bad days and a few non-preferred tasks aside) doing what you love?
- Which of the world’s deep hungers (big or small, since we aren’t all called to by Mother Teresa!) are you striving to address?
- Do you remain clear and fulfilled as you purposefully pursue your work?
As a business leader, you have likely already spent a significant amount of time evaluating your calling, skills, and purpose on a deep level. You probably even have some iteration of your own beliefs about your vocation carved into your organization’s mission statement or key values. In fact, you might feel pretty set about the whole vocation question in general! (Though, of course, there’s never anything wrong with taking a moment to reevaluate and reflect.)
Given you are likely already in the later stages of pursuing your vocational calling, consider the quote above, and the tools below, with someone else in mind – a mentee, an employee, or one of your children. If this person you care about is still pursuing that sweet spot where their joy and the world’s need intersect – and you would like to be a part of their discernment and learning process – how can they find it?
- Identify gifts and passions. As Simon Sinek puts it in the video above, a “gut instinct” can only take you so far here. Self-knowledge and a deeper, detailed understanding of your “why” are essential. We highly recommend Patrick Lencioni’s 6 Types of Working Genius framework, coaching, and other tools like the Enneagram (or simple journaling for self-reflection!) as good places to start.
- Find a hunger to address. We live in a noisy and troubled world – hungers abound, and many of us feel uniquely equipped and called to address particular ones. Your mentee, employee, or child may not have the privilege of jumping straight into addressing the need they’re most passionate about from the very beginning of their career, but they can keep their eyes fixed on the goal while they’re getting there.
- Get to work. Finding fulfillment, as Simon Sinek asserts in the video above, is an ongoing activity of constant work and striving. As you can probably attest: this whole “calling” thing is a life-long, many-faceted process.
Interested in learning more about purposeful, meaning-driven leadership and gaining skills for supporting those around you in finding their places of vocational fulfillment? Check out our newest ebook, The ROI of Coaching, for a framework of leadership that fosters the growth of those around you – and consider joining one of our CEO peer groups to continue being sharpened, challenged, and inspired today!
June 1, 2023