And Your Job Is?

crows mushroom
Oh, look. Bright, shiny things.

Blingy kinds of things.

Big data kinds of things.

Automation kinds of things.

Message mapping kinds of things.

Content mumbo jumbo kinds of things.

Going viral kinds of things.

It’s all so totally awesome.

Can’t see the goal for the tactics

If you’re like me, there are a bunch of bright and shiny dodads you focus your attention on that are not really your true job.

And as a result, we spend our time responding to the latest, urgent priority or the next new thing.

But worse, in the process, we forget who we are and what really matters to us.

A sense of personal and professional mission fades.

Our passion and potential goes dormant.

It all depends on your perspective

The famous architect Christopher Wren often toured the construction site of one of the buildings he designed. On each trip he would ask the workers to describe what they were doing.

“I’m laying bricks” or “I’m carrying stones,” was the usual response. One guy said he guessed he was making a wall.

But one worker, who was mixing cement, replied, “I’m building a magnificent cathedral.”


Your job is not to build brilliant multilevel, cross-quadrant, umpteen pillared message maps to tell people what to believe about your brand.

It’s not to develop automated systems to send out more and more messages, in more and more places, among more and more people about how great your organization is.

Your job is not to measure. It’s not to devise metrics to prove the click-throughosity of your last email campaign.

Catch the vision

In fact, when you get right down to it, your job is not to sell.

Or to hype.

Your job is to help.

Your job is to solve other people’s problems and help them take advantage of opportunities.

But some find an even higher calling

They try to change things – everything.

They find a piece of the status quo, something that needs to be improved, something that bothers them, something that is itching to be changed. And they change it.

They try to make big, permanent, important change.

Which is why looking at what we do everyday through the lens of a transcendent purpose is so powerful.

It forces us to confront the status quo. To find a new way to address people’s unresolved issues.

It takes us to a tribe that we can lead.

It focuses everyone in the organization on enabling the tribe’s opportunities and passions. Helping them do something they always wanted to do but couldn’t do before.

Build your cathedral

So as you go through the activities of your day, may I suggest replacing that “To-Do” list of everyday, conventional activities with the six most important questions you can ask:

  • Who and what am I upsetting?
  • Who am I connecting?
  • Who am I helping?
  • Who am I leading?
  • What am I making?
  • What am I changing

I hope you are making an amazing, new cathedral and not just moving bricks.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s your take?

thanks for the photo: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc