Clarifying your professional passions (Harvard Business Review)

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 13.33.10This recent post by Robert Steven Kaplan, Professor of Management Practice and Senior Associate Dean at Harvard Business School, suggests two sets of tools for clarifying your passions:

— One is to think back to times in your life when you have felt most passionate and alive. These will give you clues about what you care most about.

— The second is think forward to questions such as “If you had one year to live, what would you do?”, or “What would you advise your grandchildren to do?”, or “If you had enough money never to need to work again, what would you do?”

Part one of The Churning, on Inner Leadership, uses both of these approaches:

— Chapters 1 and 5 ask you to think back to times in your life when you have felt the most grounded and alive. These memories, combined with other tools, can enable you to stay calm in any crisis and to identify your purpose and values.

— Chapter 4 invites you to think forward and define “What would it take for you to have lived a worthwhile life?” Knowing the answer to this lets you choose the best direction to head in, starting from wherever you are now.

Together with Chapters 2 and 3, these answers then enable you to identify a practical goal or objective to aim for. Chapter 6 enables you to describe that goal in a way that inspires you and others to want to make it happen. Chapter 7 prepares you for implementation. Outer Leadership is about turning that inspiration into results.

The Churning is a two-volume set of structured frameworks and tools for “clarifying your professional passions,” and then crystallising those passions into an inspiring goal.

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