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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

How Do You View Work?

When someone asks you, “What do you do here?” there are only two answers. Everyone should have both at the ready, and should have the awareness to know which is more appropriate.

1. The Aspirational Answer

We should all be able to answer the question like the bricklayer and janitor: “We are building the finestcathedral the world has ever seen.” “I am working to put a man on the moon.” For a few years I had a voice mail that said, “Hi, this is Matthew. I’m busy helping someone else fulfilltheir dream right now, but leave me a message and I’ll call you back.” It’s amazing how manyconversations that voice mail triggered, conversations that otherwise probably would never havehappened. The world is full of ordinary, and it doesn’t need any more. The aspirational answer connects what wedo each day with the larger mission of the team or organization.

2. The Practical Answer

The second answer is more practical. It is disturbing to me how many people cannot clearly andconcisely describe their role within an organization. I overheard one of my executive assistants a fewweeks ago speaking with a visitor. “So, what do you do here?” the visitor asked.

“I am Mr. Kelly’s executive assistant,” she replied. “OK, but what does that mean day-to-day? What is it that you actually do?” the guest pressed her. “My role is to do anything that will make Mr. Kelly’s role and life easier, so he can focus on doing thethings that only he can do. Sometimes that means managing his schedule and sometimes it’s just making surehe has something to eat for lunch.” The visitor wasn’t finished. “But tell me truthfully, what’s the hardest part of your role?”

“Saying no gracefully,” my assistant replied. “I spend a lot of time saying no to people.” What do you do here? Get clear about that. Why? Lots of reasons, least of which is in case someone asks you. When you can answer the question, you will perform your role at a much higher level. If you don’t like the answer to the question, you probably don’t like your role, and you should do something about that because life is short. There are many people who woke up this morning who won’t go to bed tonight, and many who will go to bed tonight but not wake up tomorrow morning. What do you do here? If you don’t have a compelling answer to the question, it makes me wonder if you should have a role here at all. Matthew Kelly From The Culture Solution Click Here to get your copy

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