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Can You Find Your Purpose in an Enterprise Social Network?

April 26, 2016

Lynne LevyToday I’m happy to post this excellent guest blog by Lynne Levy, MBA. Lynne is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Kronos, but as often the case, titles are limiting in describing an individual’s contribution. As Lynne writes, “During my free time after I get my regular work done, I am a change advocate. I believe that the most effective ways for change to happen is through the employees and harnessing the collective wisdom of the employee base. I champion change, both large scale and small scale, throughout Kronos.”

By Lynne Levy
As I sit here, getting down to writing my blog about how Enterprise Social Networks can help us with our purpose, the phone rings. It’s my sister, calling with some difficult family news. As the journey of each of our lives proceeds, we just never know what is around the next corner. Each day I ask myself, am I truly connected to and living out my purpose in my daily interactions? Sometimes it’s a yes, and sometimes it’s a no.

For many years I had ‘career change’ on the mind and when the EVP of HR (Dave Almeda) directed me to grad school since my passion was about organizational development. When I started grad school, while also being a Kronite, it was like I came home. But even then, the topics and the areas explored I loved, but struggled figuring out my story. In fall of 2015, during a coaching onsite, we did a purpose exercise. It turned my life around. It helped me figure out how all of the threads of my interests and values were tied together. For me, my purpose is one word…connection. Even within Kronos today, I build strategies to connect our sales teams to the customer business problems. I mentor my peers to help them find their purpose and build connection. My journey is all about enabling connection.

As Steve Job said: “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Who or what is receiving your oxygen? Are you spending your days being very busy on little things that really do not matter? What does matter to you? What are your core values? What is your overall purpose?

Let’s start with a definition, after Google and I spent some time together, the definition of purpose that resonated with me is…purpose is the reason we are here. It’s not about a goal or a task. It is about understanding what you love to do, how it ties to your core values, and how you can live it out every day. Purpose is an ultimate aim toward which one can make progress. It’s individual to each of us.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why”- Mark Twain

When we connect to our purpose and truly understand it, we are able to connect the dots in our life in terms of what we love to do. We are able to visualize our journey, whether it’s a life journey, or a career journey. We are able to prioritize what we do each day. If you can build you career around your purpose, life will be far more interesting, enjoyable, and fulfilling.

How can enterprise social networks (ESN) help us find our purpose? Some initial questions to start thinking about include:

  • Are there any threads in the ESNs we belong to? Interests? Ideas?
  • Do ESNs expose us to new ideas that we would otherwise not be familiar with?
  • How do we react when we respond/comment inside of an ESN? What happens when we see ideas and comments that are directly in conflict with our core values?
  • How do ESNs and communities help us clarify…
    • What we are good at that we love doing?
    • What we are good at that we do not love doing?
    • What we may not be good at that we love doing?
  • When you are on an ESN, participating in communities, do you ever get into a flow state? Flow state occurs when your mind is so engaged that it lacks the mental capacity to notice anything else. It means you love what you are doing. If you think about ESNs that you participate in, what ideas and topics put you into a ‘flow’ state?
  • How can they create space and think time?
  • How can they help you find where you can make a difference?
  • How can an ESN help you become and find your ideal self? Can you be a different person with a different voice, more authentic, on an ESN?

How can an ESN help you find your purpose?

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