The above quote is from Michael L. Ray’s book, The Highest Goal. Ray taught a highly acclaimed course on creativity and innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, which many graduates of notable success credit as the most valuable class they attended while at the university. One of those graduates was Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great, who also wrote the Foreword to the book.
Ray goes on to say that the reason he decided to write the book was because he realized something unexpected was happening to people who took his course. When people learned how to live in connection with their highest goal, they seemed to “access some secret source of energy and inspiration.”
According to Ray, they found new ways to contribute and become generative leaders. Ray suggests, and I agree, that no matter what your role in life, you can be a leader to yourself, to others, or to the world.
What’s interesting about a highest goal is that it is something you spend a lifetime working toward rather than attaining. But your commitment motivates, inspires, and guides your journey, and gives you more and more time in a state of connection to the goal.
I decided to highlight Ray’s quote because it so speaks to what I’ve experienced and realized through my work over the past ten years. Making a commitment to my highest goal (intention) changed everything. It really set me on the path of being a leader of myself and then others.
That’s not to say there aren’t ups and downs and many challenges along the way. Ray alludes to the paradox that once you start to live in this way, life unfolds in new directions and the more you are tested. However, this is all part of the journey and strangely seems to deepen your connection to others and your journey into generative leadership.
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As I reflect on the past year, what comes up for me is a year filled with many conversations and insights. Not ordinary conversations and insights but really a continuous flow of remarkable conversations and insights.
We’ve done our best to share many of those remarkable conversations and insights with you in the hopes that they will inspire you to see things in a new way and open up new pathways for you.
In the coming year, our intention is to create more effective ways of sharing what we’re learning to help you become a more generative leader and inspire you to have more remarkable conversations and days.
What was most remarkable for you this past year?
I’d love to know and so would the remarkable people who are joining the Forward Thinking Workplace 2.0 community. I hope you’ll join us soon if you’re not a member yet.
To your great work life & success!