Quarancleaning Takes on a New Meaning
We are all quarantined. We are cleaning. We are quarancleaning. Everything. When cleaning for the 10th day in a row, I came across a file folder that I will always keep as it changed the course of my career. This file folder was filled with thank you notes from people who had written to me when I was teaching leadership classes at Whole Foods Market. In 2015, I had taken a different job within the organization that didn’t require me to teach.
I keep this file folder as a reminder. In 2015, I was working at a company that I loved, but I had a job that I didn’t love. One evening, I shared finding the folder with a good friend. She wisely asked, “If you had a job where a person would write you a thank you note, wouldn’t you do that job every day?”.
I should know the answer to that question. I started my career as a StrengthsFinder/Q12 Consultant with the Gallup Organization. It was a thrill to help leaders create engaged workplaces where people could activate their strengths. I had a solid understanding of my strengths and had aligned my career path to it. Sometimes the teacher isn’t always the expert and I had realized that I had veered from realizing my purpose.
Since then, I have left that job and have pursued activating my purpose of creating mission driven, “conscious” leaders and organizations that allow individuals to flourish. The road has been bumpy, but in that thrilling, “I never want this roller coaster ride to end” kind of way.
Here are some questions that can provide some cues into your natural strengths. Think about the last 6 weeks and identify the following:
A time you were completely absorbed or focused on a task. Were you analyzing data? Creating a story? Getting to the bottom of a customer’s complicated problem?
A time when you finished a project or task and ask yourself “I can’t wait to do that again!”. Did you turn that grumpy business partner into a delighted one? Were you able to use data to create a compelling and accurate story?
A time when you picked up an idea or skill faster or better than others. Are you a systems ninja that can see the connections between people, processes and outcomes? Do you have a gift with words and find yourself putting ideas into words? Are you that planning wizard that has turned the team’s ideas into concrete tasks and deadlines?
Ask others! Ask a trusted friend, mentor or advisor about when they have seen you at your best.
Now that you have done some introspection, look around you. There is someone in your sphere who is living his/her purpose every day. And in some large or small way, you have benefited from that activation; if that’s the case, tell them (thank you notes are on sale everywhere in August!).
You never know. That thank you note may just turn into a ticket for that person’s most gratifying roller coaster ride, ever.
Vaishali started her career nearly 20 years ago as a Consultant with the Gallup Organization where she used the organization’s thought leadership on employee engagement to help clients cultivate engaged leaders and cultures. After receiving her M.B.A and a career in Washington, D.C., she accepted a role at Whole Foods Market. At Whole Foods Market, she worked on a variety of talent management programs including co-producing its inaugural Team Member Innovation Challenge, facilitating Global strategic planning and stakeholder summits, and launching the learning and culture program for WFM’s new store concept, 365 by Whole Foods Market. She is most proud of her work in supporting WFM’s Academy for Conscious Leadership — an immersive leadership program designed to help leaders cultivate the tenets of Conscious Capitalism.
She is currently focusing on cultivating strong leaders in tech. She launched the manager development philosophy at Indeed.com and recently moved to Procore Technologies where she will focus on leadership development.