Go to any prestigious event and take a look around the room – you’ll find it filled with successful business owners and industry leaders, maybe you’re one too. Either way, I bet you’ve wondered why they are who they are, and how they have achieved what they have. You’ll notice that almost every person is an overachiever, and here’s why.
I once attended a Rotary luncheon. The Rotary Club International is one of the original, traditional non-profit organizations designed to help and to give in as many ways possible in order to elevate their local community and communities abroad. They typically support most causes as long as it is of benefit to all concerned. I love what they do for our world, and would encourage any good human to join them.
At this luncheon, they had a keynote speaker who was a big name hockey player and recently became an author. When he addressed the audience, myself included, he spoke to the reason we were all in the room: he pointed out how successful we were, but also that we were “just a room full of overachievers.”
And all I saw was over 80 people nodding and admitting in agreement. But, do you see how much good can come from a group of overachievers?
While at ATB Financial’s accelerator (ATB X) in Calgary, when I was starting Ahoy Employ, I was introduced to Sean Young’s “Dragon Theory”. Since his early 20’s Sean has been a successful Calgarian entrepreneur. Having had great challenges in his businesses, and having learned how to align his personal mission with that of his ventures, he now coaches executives and is currently writing a book to share his theory with people like us, so we are empowered to do the same.
According to Dragon Theory, some of us are driven by our desire to give. While others need to dominate. But the truly successful – they need to advocate, and for a greater good. Advocacy is the stance of the fearless. How?
The “giver” in us is driven by the fear of inadequacy: we give and contribute so that we are atoned, and finally good enough for everyone else. This fear leaves us constantly needing to prove our independence, self-critical, yet intensely motivated. It’s why the giver in us simply gets stuff done.
We all want to feel important and valued in some way. The “dominator” in us is driven by our fear of powerlessness: a lack of control in gaining our sense of importance. So we take up positions as the leaders of the pack.
By aligning our own sense of purpose with the needs of others, we become fearless.
The key is to satisfy our need to give and to feel important enough, not only through giving and dominating but through advocating. The advocate defines their purpose not only by the desired business outcome, but a why that serves a greater good: a why that helps others but that also serves their internal need to give or to dominate.
Allow me to be a little vulnerable here:
The combination of my personality and life experiences have made me a strong “giver” – always seeking atonement to feel adequate. My internal need is to give. That’s where I get my sense of purpose. According to Sean, to shift from a fear of inadequacy, a giver should align his or her need to give with objective outcomes, to be an advocate, and finally be effective and achieve what he calls flow. Flow is the ability to achieve our goals without coercing ourselves into action.
My purpose in life is to give compliments and help others so that so that they feel inspired to achieve their potential which they don’t yet see, and so that they too will give to others.
My purpose aligned with my business goals is to give other business owners a reliable place that protects them from being ripped off by unscrupulous recruitment agencies and helps them access genuine, loyal, passionate recruiters in a more authentic way. Why? Because I believe we need more honest business.
And I am giving recruiters an opportunity to realise their true value and grow their businesses by encouraging them to be themselves - genuine and authentic. Why? Because ethics should be an advantage in business, and the recruitment industry is best served by ensuring the quality of the shop is measured – not its size. It is so much easier to motivate ourselves to do what we do when our life and business objectives are completely aligned with our internal and unconscious need to give or have power (dominate). Try it out for yourself to become an advocate, and get your flow.
Luke Gass is the founder of Ahoy Employ (www.ahoyemploy.ca), Calgary based online marketplace connecting companies with Trusted & Verified™ recruiters.