I love this quote by Gary Veynerchuk:
That's what I get to do. Some days are harder, some are shear exhausting and others feel like a complete disaster; and then, ever so long, I have the best day ever!
A couple of weeks back a parent I hadn't see for ages dropped in to give her son's team some chocolates for Easter. She gave me a huge hug, told me how happy she is with everything that happening for her boy and then said I should be proud. You have no idea just how proud I was! I felt like my chest was going to burst. This is what it's all about!
Even though some days are harder than others, there is joy in doing what we do. My hope is that this joy extends. Yesterday I spoke with the team about this blog and said I was hoping to attract our 'invisible tribe'. I was referring to a book by Josh Allan Dykstra Igniting the Invisible Tribe. I'm not sure I'm identify with the word 'tribe', but I definitely do like the idea of attracting others who have the same sense of purpose and values, and want to come and do what we do.
In years gone by we were not explicit about our purpose or identity, only because we hadn't fully explored it ourselves. How could joiners know what we were trying to do, if we couldn't label or describe it for ourselves? This put us in a cycle of attracting people who may have been good at their job, but were not a values fit for our GSL. This was on us.
Now we can proudly say, we're a social enterprise. We value purpose over profit, and people over everything. Isn't it amazing that once you start to identity with yourself you can do more meaningful things?
A little while back I learned the distinction between complicated and complex. It's actually quite profound when applied to an organisation! Complicated means 'a group of intricate interconnected elements, involving many different and confusing aspects' whereas complex means 'a group or system of different things that are linked in a close or complicated way; a network'. I think until recently I regarded GSL as complicated, and in a complicated world, problems can be neatly fixed. Now I know GSL is complex, and in our complex world, problems translate into being tensions between different groups of people. This requires resolution, and not 'problem fixing'. Resolution may happen in any number of ways, and it's likely there's more than one per tension. It's all very 'human'. Knowing this has made me fall in love with GSL even more! Our operating system is people!
GSL has grown quickly and we've had associated growth pain. A sign or measure of this pain is the number of people we've said 'hello' and 'good-bye' to, but through all the disruption some have stayed. What I find interesting is that the people who have stayed have done so because they sense and feel our purpose, despite the turbulence and inability to put our operating values into words.
Now, things are different. We have good people at our core and a clearer sense of identity. Maybe our invisible tribe wont be so invisible - we'll recognise each other, and because we're a fit, when the tribe comes, they will want to stay.
When they look in the mirror and ask 'what do I want to do?', they'll be doing it - just like me.