Survival. Success. Soul.

Once upon a time, there was the younger version of you. The one who graduated from college. And who had interned here (or there). But “life after diploma” kick-started your business journey. In the early years, you didn’t get to choose much. You didn’t have the luxury of picking that first boss or company. You were just happy that someone actually paid you to work. It wasn’t ideal. It was all too fast. It was a scrappy “just don’t get fired” start. Those first 5-7 years of business life I call survivor mode.

Along the way, you started to make sense of it all. Experiences turned into “experience.” It began to slow down. You survived, “I learned what to do by watching what not to do.” You shared board rooms with a few peers who always made your head nod. So much, that when you (or they) left this company, you promised to keep in touch. A few years later? You made sure to work with them again. Sure, you had to sift through tons of “opt out” bosses and coworkers; by doing so, you found those select few who made life easier while making you better. What came of these partnerships brought kinship, truth, mutual respect and prosperity. This next 5-15 years of business life I call success mode.

As time went on, you saw a changing of the guard. You were less involved—or needed—in the day-to-day. This wasn’t a bad thing; rather, it opened you up for a new role. It gave you the ability to share what you learned with others. There was Leadership, Mentor-ship, and Ally-ship. Purpose played a bigger role in your life and, slowly, in your company. You realized business didn’t have to be “all business”—it could be personal. This third phase of business life I call soul mode.

Survival. Success. Soul. This was the business path for many of us. But it’s not the business path of this next generation.

The business path of today’s workforce has changed. Today, it goes like this: Soul. Success. Sustain.

I always joke that the next generation want to have their cake, they want to eat it too, and they want the cake to be gluten free. They want it all. And if they don’t buy in, they’re out.

As leaders, our job is to create that environment from the start. That’s the funny thing about change. “Soul—Success—Sustain” is a change to “us,” but it just “is” to this freshly minted workforce.


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