What story are you telling about your value? Most of us are telling the wrong version.
We are hardly ever conscious of the impact we have on people and as a result, our narrative—the story we project that describes why we do what we do is usually off. If we truly understood how we help—how we take burden away from others we might change our own narrative in the here and now. Getting your narrative right is essential for growth and success.
Is He a Trainer or Someone Who Helps Transform Others?
My wife and I attended the wedding of a great young couple recently. The groom is a personal trainer. He views his role through the eyes of a trainer and his narrative is about diet and exercise. His clients know otherwise.
While a few come to him simply for exercise, most seek him out because they have problems they want to solve. Big problems. Staving off diabetes and heart disease or overcoming the debilitating effects of prior physical trauma are the real drivers. Coping with depression or recovering from career trauma are others. One of his clients shared with me that the training and support he received from this young man helped him rediscover his soul as he detoxed from a career in corporate. Oh, and as a byproduct, he got in shape.
Exercise is his vehicle, but it should not be his narrative. His own story is much bigger and more important than exercise.
Although I have told him his impact transcends the guidance on exercise, I suspect he will not fully understand his impact for a number of years. Once it sinks in, the knowledge will transform him and his view of his role in the world. His work will no longer be a job but a calling and his narrative will evolve to focus on how he is truly able to help people transform.
Don’t Let Your Story Fade When You Walk Through the Door:
Mostly, our corporate narratives are crap and our own personal narratives when we are immersed in that environment earn the same label. We leave our homes as humans and we walk through the doors at work as automatons focused on the pursuit of numbers that have no meaning. We sublimate our own personal story or narrative to someone else’s whose focus is on the numbers. We also forget that numbers are always outcomes and we mistakenly look to them for motivation and inspiration.
No one was ever motivated or inspired by a number alone. It’s the quest behind the number that provides the fuel to act. It’s everyone’s understanding of the quest and their role in contributing to the process that sets the stage for the group’s success. To get this right, people have to be tuned in to their real purpose and comfortable with their narratives.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
The best managers and leaders understand what my trainer is still learning—that their purpose transcends the work and the measurements and instead focuses on capturing and stimulating the hearts and minds of their team members. Their narratives and their behaviors reflect their conviction in this purpose.
Get the narrative right and the right numbers follow.