This post explores the remaining three ‘C’s from our ‘Are You Sailing the Seven C’s’ voyage.
Collaborate with someone
When we first started developing purpose-led communication strategies, one of the questions we asked was “what is your competitive climate’. At the time, we asked this question as a means to get at the obstacles standing in the way of achieving purpose – things like operational issues, lack of resources, the economic climate, psychological factors, perceptions vs. reality, etc. We also asked about competitors – those organizations or businesses they believed they were competing against or would soon be competing against. Unfortunately, the answers to this question often led to the desire to create a competitive advantage over others. We began to feel uncomfortable in facilitating this scenario of winners and losers. We felt that in a purpose-led environment there is room for all to succeed. So, we began to not only ask what is the competitive climate, but also what is the ‘collaborative climate’. Who can you work, ally or partner with to achieve purpose? What can you associate or connect with to achieve purpose? How can you help others achieve their purpose? Eventually, we began to focus more on the ‘collaborative advantage’ instead of the ‘competitive advantage’. Today, we believe that a collaborative advantage is the route to success i.e. achieving purpose. Having a collaborative advantage works to the betterment of all involved.
Ask yourself – who can you seek out as allies and partners? What can you bring to the relationship that benefits not only you, but also them? How can you apply your talent, imagination, and resources in ways that bring value to the people and entities you now regard as colleagues. You can also bring this spirit of collaboration into your organization and begin to create collegial atmosphere committed to purpose versus a competitive environment where departments and programs are pitted against one another. Experts will say you can’t force collaboration, and this is probably true in a business-as-usual environment. I believe in a purpose-led environment, collaboration isn’t forced but occurs out of necessity. You will arrive at purpose when the collaborative spirit has everyone not only rowing in the same direction, but also knowing why they are rowing in the same direction.
Rosa Parks said “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” I love this quote because it captures the positive power of being purpose-led. Fear seems to fade away when noble purpose guides our thoughts and actions. On the other hand, fear is empowered when purpose is paper-thin. With noble purpose driving us, courage thrives and things like anxiety, indecisiveness, stagnation and confusion wither.
This Seven C actually holds the key to successfully navigating the other six C’s. When you or your organization is fear-based, the ability to truly change, connect, create, challenge, collaborate and be compassionate is compromised. Fear-based actions produce fear-based outcomes. You can’t run away, control, suppress or resist fear. What you can do is understand it. J Krishnamurti wrote ‘. . .watch it, learn about it, come directly in contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape it.” Being purpose-led provides you with an effective route to this kind understanding.
The Roosevelt’s had a good handle on fear. Franklin’s famous remark “The only fear we have to fear is fear itself” is complemented by Eleanor’s charge, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Yes, compassionate is a verb! The Oxford English Dictionary definition is ‘to regard or treat with compassion’. When you or your organization compassionates, you are showing kindness, caring and a willingness to help others. Kindness, caring and helping are three key ingredients of a noble purpose. Albert Schweitzer wrote, “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” Schweitzer’s wisdom can also be applied to organization. The purpose of an organization or business is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. When an organization acts or behaves compassionately, new horizons and vistas appear. The fog of isolation and self-absorption lifts. You begin to look forward to experiencing what all the world has to share and offer. By being purpose-led, you are doing what you love to do and love others in the process. You help create a place where other’s can do what they love to do and love others in the process. Compassion is contagious. To quote the Dalai Lama, ‘If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion”. Imagine what will happen when this wisdom comes to life for your culture, customers, and community. Compassionate – it’s the ultimate action word for getting to your meaningful destination.
Happy sailing, everyone!