Working with purpose (dedicated to the members of the GUnited in Kenya)

By Carlos Gomez

It was 1992 when I first became interested in leadership.
I was in my first year at university when I had this dream of being a successful CEO one day.
Looking back from there, I remember that I used to be a leader in many different activities at primary school, however, something changed my life and as a result I lost confidence and became an average, insecure follower.
My interest in leadership followed me through university; however, I could never have my confidence back until later in my life.
After graduating from university, I started off my professional career and moving from one position to better one. Just as everyone else, at times I felt successful and at others, a failure. And even though I could always recover from downturns and kept a steady level of happiness, I constantly had the feeling that something was missing from my life.
Many days, particularly Mondays, I felt more and more dragged down as I was getting close to my office. I remember walking to my cubicle, sighing the Monday morning sigh to my colleagues and dropping my documents with a thud that, to me, sounded like prison cell doors closing behind me. Simply, I was not doing what I really wanted to do.
Although, I was the leader; I had the job `title` and even good material things in my life, still, I could not find the real purpose in what I was doing.
I spent few years like that… looking for a purpose… I changed career, I changed team, I changed company, I changed position and I even changed city. I looked everywhere OUT there… still I could not find purpose. It was not until I read a book that opened my eyes and taught me I should start looking into myself.
I realised then that it is about finding purpose in what you do every moment. There and then I stopped trying to find meaning desperately and did a quiet, more thoughtful search instead. The meaning and purpose I was seeking came when I least expected it, when I had no team, no title, no position, when I had no job.
Finding my purpose is now a continuously evolving journey that has no final destination. And I only had to change my attitude and mind set to realise that. I only shifted my focus from myself to something higher than me. At that point, I truly understood what leadership was all about. I realised I was learning how to lead myself first. (First lesson of Authentic Leadership).
I believe what you do at GUnited is just that. You are selflessly serving others. You might not be able to change Kenya as a whole but you are certainly changing Kenya for the child you are helping. If you want to find purpose in your day-to-day work, you can start right now with the people you are interacting with. Isn`t it what we all should be doing?


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