You’ve no doubt heard the adage “It’s not personal, it’s business” at least a time or two. Whether you remember it from its origins in the first Godfather film, or you’ve heard it mentioned in professional settings, this widely used expression somehow gives license to the idea that personal goals should be separate from work.
At Fervor, we couldn’t disagree more. If you’re looking at new opportunities for professional growth, or if you are an organization looking at how to engage employees in an effort to create a more dynamic company culture, I would argue it’s time to get more personal.
Back in October, I discussed Chasing Impact: Personal Purpose, Principles and Pay-Offs. I want to expand on one theme of that discussion: Who With + Who For. It’s an idea that calls us to really think about how we marry our own personal purpose with the culture of an organization. To look at who we are working with, who we are working for, and how our own personal mission is being met as a result.
Easier said than done?
I don’t think so. It boils down to a few simple thoughts in my book: If you feel a responsibility to do something impactful in your life, don’t wait for a company to do it for you. If it’s more harmony in your life you’re seeking? Go get it. If you’re a business, and want your employees to start caring about each other and the state of the business more, then take one step toward helping actually do that.
Part of this shift in thinking is looking at the ways we can further engage within our organizations. It isn’t about waiting around for the company culture to envelope us. It might be that we look at ways in which we can create or even challenge the culture through our own thoughts and actions, and yes, through our own personal goals and beliefs.
So how do you do it?
One way to accomplish this, especially if you’re looking at a new job opportunity or looking to make some changes within your current role, is to accept your responsibility as a valuable, fully engaged employee by making sure that you are in the right seat, on the right team. You can accomplish this by asking yourself two very simple questions: Am I working with a team who cares for each other? And am I doing my part to care for them?
If you’ve never invited a coworker to lunch, gone out of your way to do a happy hour or if you fail to ask a team member about their personal life when you know there is an issue, I would argue, you are not doing your part.
And on the flip side, as someone in a leadership position, if you are not creating an environment where this type of team engagement is encouraged, I would argue again, you are also not doing your part.
Why does it matter?
We believe that there should be some connective tissue to a greater purpose. We believe that it is not only possible, but beneficial, for both employees and an organization as a whole, to be living out purpose in the work that’s being done. But we also know, organizations can use some help along the way. If we think about company culture with intention, we have a chance to be better organizations, better communities, better families and better people. In the end, isn’t that the common thread we share?
Fervor exists to help organizations go further. We know organizations like to talk about things they could do or money they could raise, but shouldn’t they also be talking about the work that is actually being done? The lives that are being changed? The opportunities for impact that exist?
If that’s a part of your own personal mission, aligning yourself with an organization who shares a similar passion is just one way to ensure everyone’s needs are being met.
It’s business, for sure. But it’s also very personal. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.