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Learn To Be Passionately Purposeful At Work

Posted by | May 11, 2017 | Employee Engagement, Employer

via New Straight TimesLearn To Be Passionately Purposeful At Work

“EMPLOYEE engagement” is the buzzword in all organisations I consult with. There’s nothing that gets the human resources department swooning more than finding that somewhat elusive engaged employee.

Managers too, often fall back on the rather avuncular term “engaged”, when they describe how they want their employees to be.

Yet, I find that most employees I coach have no idea of what it means to be engaged.

I can, of course, tell you the traits of a dis-engaged employee.

Employee Engagement

These type of employees complain a lot; they are experts at making excuses; rarely help their colleagues; get easily distracted; and are lackadaisical.

How do you get engaged at work? I believe this comes when you combine a purposeful existence with an unwavering enthusiasm to achieve that objective.

Your sense of purpose is shaped by the things you believe in, and value. And once you get connected to purpose, you will be enthused about your work.

I would like to focus on how you can develop enthusiasm for work, which will, in turn, make you an engaged employee.

In a nutshell, you only get enthusiastic when you have a vibrant interest in something. I also know from working with successful leaders that you need an extraordinary sense of eagerness to achieve anything of great value.

Let me share how you can build enthusiasm in your life, especially for work.

To start with, you need to be passionate. When you refer to someone as being passionate, you are in fact saying that they have great strength and energy.

Only if you have passion, will you achieve success because it fuels your enthusiasm, even when you hit the sticky patches in life. So, learn to love your job and don’t ever tire of going the extra mile to achieve results.

Next, you have to be positive. And no, I am not talking about being mindlessly optimistic.

Employee Engagement

Being positive is as much an active endeavour, as it is a state of mind. So, train your mind to recognise that even when things look dire, you can find learning lessons and silver linings.

The third criterion for enthusiasm is that you need to be proactive.

The opposite of being proactive is being reactive. Proactive people train themselves to take full responsibility for their life. Reactive people often get affected by their physical environment. So, become proactive as you will be an initiator of things.

It becomes vital that you cultivate these three attributes to become enthusiastic.

One of my earliest mentors was a man called J. Jegathesan. He is a living example of someone who embodies these three characteristics.

I have known him since I was a kid. He was the leader of a service-oriented spiritual organisation, and my family was close to him.

I used to be thrilled when I found out that Uncle Jega was coming to Penang. He was just mesmerising. He would stand in front of hundreds of people and speak for an hour or two, and have everyone eating out of the palm of his hands. His charisma was spectacular.

But it wasn’t just the external packaging that was remarkable.

He had the ability to inspire and engage everyone he came into contact with.

As I grew older, I had the chance to work with him, and not just be an audience member.

In these instances, I saw the three attributes I identified above come into play.

He was truly passionate about what he was into. He expends near fanatical energy while working on uniting people of different faiths through service projects. And, his passion and enthusiasm was contagious, every time.

His positivism would also ignite others to be engaged. He would regularly come up with seemingly grandiose ideas that looked impossible to pull off. Often, they were nation-building activities that should have been undertaken

by the government.

But, he managed to inspire a relatively small non-governmental organisation, manned only by unpaid volunteers, to successfully complete these gargantuan projects. I am certain that these projects were only successful because he was able to infuse his optimistic attitude into each team member.

As we undertook these big events and activities, it was apparent that while most grappled with the complexities of the task at hand, he would always be looking for the best solutions and conjuring up alternative strategies.

And when things went wrong, as they sometimes did, he would always proactively work at solving whatever missteps that had occurred.

It is no wonder that professionally he was immensely successful.

Uncle Jega eventually became Datuk J. Jegathesan. He retired as the deputy director general of the Malaysian Industrial (now Investment) Development Authority.

I have no doubt that the three qualities of passion, positivism and being proactive, were the reasons why he was effective in his job of bringing foreign investment, through trade missions, into Malaysia.

To become engaged at work, first develop enthusiasm for your work. And remember you can only develop enthusiasm when you learn to be passionately purposeful, allow positivism to reign in your life, and become proactive.

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