Thanks everyone for the overwhelming response to my first blog. It has been humbling to see the engagement via multi channels and the insightful comments. Clearly my learning has been far more than my sharing.
One of the readers asked a very insightful question. Performance is clearly related to setting clear goals. Without clear goals one is ‘Alice in wonderland’. How does this basic truth reconcile with Mr Gopalakrishna’s observation broadly that one can can either lead you career as a set of goals to be achieved or a journey to be enjoyed. If you do the latter you may find that you have clocked some milestones
After a fair amount of self-debate and bouncing my thoughts of a few people, I can offer the following insights.
Firstly Mr Gopalakrishna never averred that one path was better than the other. All he said was that one needs to be conscious that both routes are available and equally legitimate. Secondly, the goals that he was talking about were the external personal goals that professionals often set for themselves. Manager within 3 years, General Manager of a large company within 9 years and the youngest CEO of a large corporation before 40 and so on and so forth. These goals don’t necessarily demonstrate thought leadership, genuine contribution or actual achievement. Not for a moment is one arguing that these will not be necessarily backed by the deeper qualities referred in the last sentence. However there is research to show that there is more joy in giving than getting in the long run.
This brings us to the larger argument of Purpose Vs Goals. Purpose is clearly internal and what adds meaning. Goals are more external both in their provenance and in their expression. True purpose, I believe, can only come from consciousness of the journey and savouring the now, while living in it. Focus on future expressions of self-achievement detracts from our ability to derive a deeper purpose
What about happiness and purpose. Here Stanford research has proved that happiness and purpose are not the same thing. You can be happy without a deep purpose and very purposeful people can be genuinely unhappy. These are two different dimensions. More on this later.
What do you people think? Have we been able to address the dilemma between ‘Goals and journey”?
Sarajit Jha - Chief Operating Officer & Interim MD at Conneqt Business Solutions Limited
follow@sarajitjha on twitter