Do something you care about
Past USA President Bill Clinton recently spoke at a conference in Canada. At the conclusion he answered questions from the audience. He spoke about the importance of not necessarily doing something in life that you are best at but rather something that you care about. This is an interesting concept – the difference between pursuing a career from our strengths or from our passions.
The two are usually connected but they may not necessarily be so. The question here is how do you know what you care about? Sometimes this requires trying out a few things to see what resonates most for you.
One of the most interesting things I often observe is seeing CEOs or people in management who actually dont care that much about people. They would never describe themselves as people oriented or even particularly people focused. Caring about people doesn’t mean you have to be a social butterfly, flitting around at every social event possible, it means having a deep interest and care for fellow humans.
In the past skill has got a CEO to the top position. That skill is more likely to have come from a legal or financial background not a people background. Can you imagine a potential CEO sitting in on an interview for a new job saying they love being around people and watching how they grow and develop? It is highly likely that this kind of comment would warrant a great deal of negative judgement. But the reality of being a CEO is that your job is now all about people. You are managing the skills of the organisation, the potential, the innovation, the creation, the overall passions of your people. We hear so many stories today about successful companies that are all about knowing their people. This is the key job of a CEO, but it is not something that you can act out or pretend or even hand over to someone else to manage like an HR department. This must be something you fundamentally care about and love doing.