As you can see in this image, it looks like I have two blogs: they are actually one, with two URLs pointing to it.
The one with the higher number of links is the URL of my domain name, the other one is my Typepad URL. I have opened a ticket with Technorati. This is not what this post is about.
The point of this post is more meaningful to the conversation around vocation and passion as they manifest in our brand. As Herman Hesse sagely wrote in Siddhartha, we spend our lives finding ourselves. That is true of individuals and businesses. We begin on a certain profession because we are good at something.
If we're really lucky, we gravitate towards what we can do better than anyone else -- what we were engineered to do. And that is also what we're extremely passionate about. And we win the proverbial lottery when those two circles intersect with a third one: what people will pay us to do.
Jim Collins spoke about this concept with Alan Webber in front of a live audience at Fast Company Real Time Phoenix in his famed Good to Great talk, the precursor to his popular book. My biggest take away from that conversation was the idea of observing and recording the work situations and people who light me up as a starting point.
The discovery of where my three circles intersect is no trivial matter. If this is the way you've also felt, you are not alone. Many of us blog for that reason: there is a slight disconnect between how far we can take our growth and personal insights at work and our desire to bring to bear the passion for what we were engineered to do.
Alas, often enough that disconnect is making a livelihood out of the things that make a life for us. That is where our split personalities come in. Most enterprising individuals can and do find ways to unleash the power of their thinking in side activities that fuel that desire to contribute at more levels.
Sometimes those activities become a full time job and a dream come true. Other times we are just as happy maintaining two or more separate activities. We may not reach our potential with good enough, and we may be considered replaceable as good enough. But it may work nonetheless.
What happens when businesses stop at good enough? When companies lose their way to what is core to them to chase next quarter's results? Maybe they have been forced to develop a series of offerings and incremental improvements to make the numbers -- I call this, counting beans vs. making beans. Maybe the pressure is on from a management team that is approaching retirement age -- I call this "do not rock the boat."
What is good to great today? Are we confusing sustainable and scalable business with short term financial gain? Do businesses have split personalities? Should businesses spend more time finding their true north?
Those businesses exist, and they are better at riding economic cycles. They often create their opportunities by listening to their passion and developing what they were engineered to do. And people will pay to be part of that conversation because they are and have strong brands as a result.