I find that a big enough dream, vision, or goal motivates me.
A few months ago, I read The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek with a group of leaders. In that text, he introduces an idea that has been inspiring and motivating for me since I read it. The idea: a Just Cause.
Sinek offers the following standards for a Just Cause:
For something — affirmative and optimistic
Inclusive — open to all those who would like to contribute.
Service oriented — for the primary benefit of others
Resilient — able to endure political, technological and cultural change
Idealistic — big, bold and ultimately unachievable
With that set of criteria in mind, I wrote my Just Cause: to connect, grow, and mentor every school leader who wants to level up.
It feels great. It feels important.
The more I write and share my Just Cause in public the more excited I get looking for opportunities where I can take action on the Just Cause.
My Just Cause has helped me be more open-minded.
Prior to the Just Cause, I was focused on two things: on growing my leadership community for school administrators and growing my podcast. The Just Cause has cracked open a world of possibility. By not mentioning my leadership community, “The Mastermind,” specifically in the Just Cause, I have the opportunity to think of more creative ways that are both free and paid to serve school leaders.
My Just Cause has also challenged me to ask for help.
My Just Cause also doesn’t say specifically my company, Better Leaders Better Schools. That’s a good thing. It means that I can move my Just Cause forward and help many more school leaders by pointing them in the right direction for help. It challenges me to be more collaborative than competitive. So if a leader wants to provide better feedback, I point him to The SchoolHouse 302. If a leader wants to grow in diversity and inclusion, I point her toward Tracey Benson or Sheldon Eakins.
My Just Cause acts as a filter and generates momentum.
When an opportunity comes my way, I ask myself, “Will this help me move the Just Cause forward?” If the answer is “Yes” I consider the opportunity. If the answer is a clear “No,” then I have permission to walk away. This might be the most important gift of the Just Cause — the gift of clarity. And with that clarity, I find myself working on “the right stuff” and I’m creating more positive momentum each and every day. This creates a generous cycle in my work which I find extremely valuable and motivating.
So my Just Cause is “to connect, grow, and mentor every school leader who wants to level up.”
Simon Sinek’s Just Cause is, “to build a world in which the vast majority of people wake up inspired, feel safe at work and return home fulfilled at the end of the day.”
I wonder what your Just Cause might be?