Saturday, July 13, 2013
Donating Time and Expertise
Yesterday I spent the morning conducting a 3-hour workshop for more than 30 local non-profit organizations, as part of a regional HR association event. This was one of those requests that always seems less disruptive many months before the event. In fact, I had agreed to do it more than 6 months ago, when nothing that far into the future could possibly be that big of a deal. However, in a week in which I traveled across the country and back, and in which I was juggling many other (paying) client commitments, it wasn't my top choice for how to spend my first day back home.
Nevertheless, I made it a point to block out all distractions and to simply be present to doing my best job in the moment. The audience deserved nothing less than that.
When I got home later in the day, I was reflecting on two thoughts. The first was the importance of the "abundance mentality" I wrote about one time last year. By that I mean thinking of the world as an abundant place and thinking of my capacity to serve and to give to others as plentiful, rather than limited. When I think from a perspective of limits or scarcity, I tend to want to more carefully dole out kindness. However, when I see kindness as something I don't have to conserve or limit, I'm able to give more freely.
The second thing I was reflecting on was one of the "Fundamentals" I used to teach in my former company. It was called, "Practice A+ness as a way of life." This Fundamental is about having intense pride in the quality of what I do and making sure that my work reflects the highest standard of which I'm capable. On days when I'm tired, or less motivated, it's my passion for A+ness that pushes me to still deliver a high quality talk or to provide my very best thinking to a leader that I'm coaching or to a company for which I'm consulting. While the audience might not perceive it as less than my best, I would know. And that's really what A+ness is about -- a deeply personal commitment to excellence, even if no one were to know but me.