Fourth Question Leaders Help People Discover Calling.
I have been travelling with a friend who is a leader of the Foundation for Cross Cultural Education. He spends his life helping people discover calling. It is a Christian organisation which seeks to provide training and education in remote, poor communities in Africa. Their motivation is to help transform
individuals and communities through community upliftment. They work in poor, undeveloped areas of Africa and other nations. My organisation has been partnering with this group for over a decade – especially in the development of school education and teacher training.
Just in the last few days we met with someone who had been involved with a volunteer group which helped build a building in Malawi and, as a consequence, was exposed to the work of FCE. In Australia he is an information communications engineer in a major organisation and works with a team to make sure computers work for thousands of people.
After his exposure to the work of FCE he investigated their current and future IT needs. He successfully encouraged the donation of a large quantity of high quality equipment, worked through the complex ethics of such a donation, organised the storage of the equipment, setup the systems in his own garage to ensure they would work, and thought through all of the things which would need to be done at the African location the equipment would be used.
By the time we met with him he had been working on the project for over two years – all in his spare time.
Throughout our meeting he made it clear, repeatedly, that information technology was not his passion. He enjoyed his job. He spoke very well of his work environment and he was clearly very knowledgeable and competent at what he did for a living – but it was not his passion. He started his career many years ago and had worked his way up in the organisation – but it was not his passion. Yet, the whole time he was telling us about the things he had explored, the blockages he had faced and overcome, the many different components of the project he had organised and thought through, and the possibilities for the future – his whole face and body language was completely lit up with passion.
Connecting his job, his career, with a vision for something which could make a huge difference to people with very little turned his job ad career into a calling! The project helped him discover calling. It was fantastic to watch.
If I had to answer the question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” right now, I would respond by saying I want to do what I saw in that meeting. I want to spend my life helping people discover calling – preferably, but not necessarily exclusively, connect their jobs and/or careers with their calling.
When people discover calling their whole life is affected. Even the mundane can become meaningful.
As a Fourth Question Leader helping people discover calling is what I believe my whole life should be committed to. Fourth Question Leaders are leaders who put the interests of others before their own. They are leaders who are committed to helping those they lead become the very best they can be. I can’t see any higher or better way to achieve those goals than helping people discover calling.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Howard Thurman)
What would you change? Discover calling.
How could you draw on the skills, capabilities, and knowledge you have developed in your lifetime to change something that needs changing.
Jeff Goins refers to the way you answer this question as discovering your voice. Your voice is the ways in which you combine your skills with the need for change you identify and the things which make you come alive inside and out. Discover calling.
What does this look like? Take an inventory of the skills you know you have. Ask a few friends and coworkers for input to help identify gifts and skills you may not see in yourself, or may not realise how valuable they are. Reflect deeply on what you would change.
This is a great way to discover calling. For me it has always been about young people becoming the best they can be. Identify the kinds of things which really grab your full attention and focus – the things which you light you up inside and out.
Goins suggests drawing a Venn diagram of what you discover about yourself.
Look carefully at the intersection of the three circles – the overlap may well be where you discover calling.
Of course, my friend from FCE would strongly suggest you also pray!
Prayer is a great way to discover calling! Perhaps starting with prayer would be a good idea!
Finding your purpose is about listening to an inner calling. In “Let Your Life Speak,” Parker Palmer says that we should let our life speak to us, not tell our life what we’re going to do with it.
- Connecting job and career with a vision is how a leader helps people discover calling.
- Leaders who are focussed on putting the interests of others before their own help people discover calling.
- When people discover calling their whole life is affected. Even the mundane can become meaningful.
- Your voice is the ways in which you combine your skills with the need for change you identify and the things which make you come alive inside and out.
- Prayer is a great way to discover calling! Perhaps starting with prayer would be a good idea!