April 3, 2017

Management exists because desire is missing

Management exists where desire is missing

My children have chores and passions. One of my daughters loves make up. One loves gymnastics. One loves video editing. They all work on their passions without me asking. And they have chores. If they don't do their chores they don't get their phones for the week. The system ensures we don't fight over them doing their chores. And I've never had to put a system in place for their passions. 

Management exists because passion doesn't. When passion isn't present, you've got to add all these layers of bureaucracy and infrastructure. Not only does that apply to corporations. It applies to your life. We're going to talk about both.

And this is about more than just "follow your passion". Frankly that feels glib. 

You may be in a space where you have tons of bureaucracy and infrastructure, and you really don't have a lot of choice in how your day goes. For some of you, you have so much choice, all that empowerment can be overwhelming. You don’t know what to do with this time or how to get really focused and move your business from a defensive position to an offensive position and do something that differentiates and makes the biggest impact on moving the mission forward.

How do we get to a place where we don't have to have lots of bureaucracy and infrastructure for our lives or for the ventures that we're leading? In managing a lot of employees, I can tell you that if it wasn't something they were passionate about, I had to add more reward and punishment layers, more structured systems.

I'm not saying systems aren't important. We like systems. They help us. I love building routines and adding flow to my life. As organizations develop, there are layers that need to be added that help everything stay focused so it doesn't drift.

It goes back to Dan Pink, the work that he did called Drive. It was a study that they found that everybody wants three things in their work. They want autonomy, mastery, and meaning. They want their work to have meaning, to contribute to a larger purpose. They want to be able to master a skill that they're passionate about growing in. And they want autonomy. They want freedom to structure how they grow in that. That's what we all want.

So much of the process is overlooked in how people develop, how they become truly aware of what their passion is. The fact is that you're going to gravitate towards your desires. If you don't get to live those out, you're going to be angry and unfulfilled.

This is what people skip over so often: You've got to figure out you. If you can't figure out you, you're never going to have that sense of awareness of what your desires are. You need to let your desires rage You might be in a job where you don't get to structure a lot of your time the way you want to, but you want to think through the margins. You may even have family commitments--and I don't even have a lot of margin there--but you want to build a routine around my passions.

You see I said that word “routine.” I'm not saying I'm anti-structure and -system, where you just wake up and you got to go, "I'm just going to go wherever I float." No, I'm going to build the routines around my passions.

Recently, my family and I moved. I've loved trail running for the last couple of years, but we're now further from a trail that I really loved. I tried road running around here, and it just isn't working for me for a number of reasons. I've changed my morning routine up. I'm picking a gym that has a sauna, sitting in 200 degrees for 20 minutes. It gives that feeling of going out for a six-mile run in the heat. I'm doing some other things, fitness wise, but I've tried to figure out what am I passionate about, where I want to be, and how I structure around that.

For so many people, they're trying to impose something they really don't want to do on themselves because they're not in touch with who they are. They don't know how to let their desires rage. They may do that with their fitness. They may do that with diet. They may do that with work. There's a ton of different ways do things. Everybody's trying to oftentimes sell what they think you should do.

Before I buy a book on Amazon, I'll search in the word search how many times they used the word “should.” I want to know if they found something that worked for them and they're trying to push that on me, or if they found something that worked for them and they're going to teach me the bigger ideas and principles behind it. The best books don't have lots of “should” in them, if any.

Everybody finds what works for them, and if it's really successful but they can't teach people the bigger principles and ideas behind it, they're going to limit the people that they're helping to the pathway they found. What is awesome about lifeis finding your path, figuring out who you are, and becoming free of the pressure around you that says you need to live your life a certain way. You're going to have that pressure. It's just finding an internal core that's strong enough to not be dictated by it.

I'm going to build a flow to my week. I'm going to think through it: how do I want my morning to look that sets up my day? How do I want to structure my week so that I've got time for things that I don't want to do? Maybe it’s running errands or admin stuff or just things that pop up in the normal rhythm of a young family. I'm going to have time in my week for that, so I don't get irritated and uptight, but I'm going to have time to create stuff. I'm going to have time to move things forward. It's going to be built around desire.

Now sometimes it's getting in touch with that desire in a way that's beyond the immediate. I could say I love helping people figure out who they are apart from what they do. I love that. I could jump in the immediate desire and just help people all day, every day, but not actually build things that are developing the business or creating the infrastructure, or developing future streams or channels of influence where I want to spread this message.

When I'm in touch with my desires, I understand that I'm doing this work that I love doing, but I also want to think about ways to do it at a scale that's beyond what's happening now. The desires could be competing within me. On Wednesday, I'm going to go do coaching meetings and have an absolute blast. It's going to be very fulfilling. Then Thursday hits. I need to do some work where I keep my butt in the seat and create some content. The immediate gratification may be a lot stronger, from a desire standpoint, if I just say I'm going to fill up my day with meetings again and hang out and help people. But I'm going to miss out on a long term desire that I have, which is some family goals, some financial goals, and some business goals.

If you want to get into the depth of that, let the desires rage. Whether you're in layers of bureaucracy, whether you feel trapped with so many failed attempts at structuring all kinds of good habits that you'd like to build into your life, learn who you are, learn what you want. Let the desires rage and build the systems and routines around that.

Learn about building your best morning here in a workshop. 

Figure out your desires in a book I wrote: 

Figure That Shift Out: An Invitation to Relax Into Your Brilliance By Chris McAlister Buy on Amazon