This morning was a disaster. I decided to try out the new website administrator tool that my web host had installed. (I have known my main business website has needed a serious overhaul for some time.) My home page needed some reformatting, at the very least, so that is what I was doing when upon my click of the “bullet” icon, everything disappeared.
EVERYTHING but a few lines of my business website home page is gone.
Of course, my first action was to call my web host (the owner, by the way); I had to leave a voice mail…but that’s another story yet to be written. My next thought was that I may have to recreate, rewrite, reconstruct those precious words and graphics I long ago had written. I felt like a victim of identity theft.
But I abhor thinking like a victim at all, so I got to thinking: How much of an opportunity might I really have here? When was the last time I truly rethought my business? Is my story today the same as it was a couple of years ago when I last updated my home page? I have a new partner, Becky Morris, and we are beginning to do this in earnest together, but now I literally have a clean canvas on which to paint my – our – vision anew.
Then I got to thinking of a comment made by my friend and colleague, Grant Tate, when we had dinner last week at a professional conference. Grant said something like this:
We’ll never reconstruct the old economy, so what will the new economy look like? What is our role? We are perfectly equipped to shape what is to come. Shouldn’t we be leaders in shaping what is to come?
Much of what we have been writing for decades in our economy is gone. It has disappeared. We’ll never reconstruct our old story; we shouldn’t want to. We don’t like it, but we are forced to shape something new and within that lies the potential to shape something better.
Who are we? What do we stand for? How are we different? Where do I fit in?
In his book Identity is Destiny: Leadership and the Roots of Value Creation, author Laurence D. Ackerman sites a Conference Board survey report on post-merger integration from the late 1990s, in which three factors were cited as being instrumental in creating a framework for designing a successful new organization.
- Basic identity, core values and business strategy
- The underlying economic model of the enterprise
- The philosophy and style of the CEO
The combination of these factors helps to “create a common understanding and commitment” among all stakeholders. Employees love their work and deliver results that mirror their passion; customers want to do business with their companies again and again; and investors stay with the companies in the face of inevitable ups and downs. Loyal employees; loyal customers; loyal investors: a perfect formula for success.
Ackerman gets it: Our identity – a company’s, or a person’s, or a nation’s unique characteristics – determines our potential and capacity for success. I can use the blank canvas of my web page to great advantage by rethinking my identity, my business and the value Becky and I add for our clients. Our nation can rethink our identity and how we create value in the world. Our nation’s businesses can rethink how they add value to their customers and in our economy. Our teams can rethink how they add value to corporate mission. Each of us can rethink how we uniquely can contribute to something bigger than ourselves. In so doing, we create a common understanding and commitment to pursue new results with passion.
I can rewrite my success story by rethinking my identity. I am the CEO of my future.
Reflections to inspire personal growth and identity:
- Where are you now? Why? What are your striving for that seems just beyond your reach based on your current thinking?
- What are the unique characteristics and interests that make you who you are? How do you know? How would a professional assessment help?
- What is your identity: your personal vision, values, strategy, career/business model, philosophy and style? When was the last time you rethought your identity? What kind of help do you need?
- If I asked you to come up with 100 or more dreams for your future, what is your capacity to dream of success to this extent? Would a process that helped you dream and achieve the dreams that are most important to you be helpful?
- If “Identity is Destiny”, who are you, what do you want to have, to do, to become and how are you going to achieve your desired future?
Our future – your future – begins at The Intersection of Purpose & Now.