The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. ~Anna Quindlen
In my last blog, I discussed an image of that captured what would not be an ideal future for my life. This time, I am going to discuss what a perfect work life would be for me, the type of job that would get me chomping at the bit each and every day.
In my current role, I have direct reports spanning the range of those who love playing in software and only want to play in software for the remainder of their careers and, at the other end of the spectrum, those that are drawn to the leadership side of the equation. I enjoy working with both types but get really amped up when working with up and coming leaders. When working with leaders, when helping them through a struggle, when helping them discover the answer to an issue they are experiencing, I enter an amazing state is known as flow. It is a magical place, a paradise where time ceases to have meaning for me, an existence where I feel I am fully engaged with life, an essence that I am fully utilizing all my abilities.
Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. ~Mihály Csíkszentmihályi
After one of these sessions, I am also touched at a deep emotional level, I feel tears of joy welling up behind my eyes. I can’t fully explain why the tears are there. The nearest I can come to an explanation is that it’s tied to flow, my passion for leadership development, and my passion for people. I believe that during the coaching sessions when I achieve flow the passions align in such a way that they reach a crescendo and I become overwhelmed.
The other favorite part of my job is working with people from other cultures. When my company started offshoring software development to India, I was the project lead. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the other cultures, learning how to navigate within their cultural context. The travel to other countries grew in me a desire to become culturally immersed in another land, a desire that has driven me, for the past years, to seek a multi-year delegation in another country though it will keep me apart from my family for an extended period of time. Nothing I have experienced since my kids were born has been strong enough for me to consider not being with them for months at a time, nothing until now when I have a burning desire to live in another country.
So, my perfect job 15 years from now would be one in which I am coaching leaders, helping leaders develop over the long haul while living in a country other than my country of origin. I want to watch leaders learn to crawl, help them take those first leadership footsteps, encourage them with every step during the leadership development marathon. I want to see the leadership saga unfold from a new country every couple of years.