Opinion | What's your motivation? | Christina Gerakiteys

DESIRED IMPACT: We need to talk about what it means to be passionate with intent.
DESIRED IMPACT: We need to talk about what it means to be passionate with intent.

At a recent workshop, participants were developing their ‘why’ statement. It’s becoming a little cliché; passion and purpose, what’s your why and several variations on the theme.

The truth is, it’s brilliant that the movement has momentum. Particularly when the motivation is pure in intent and not simply chasing the fad. If every business and organisation in the world had a passionate purpose we would be on our way to a Utopia, defined uniquely by each individual.

One participant at the workshop reluctantly decided to share his ‘why’. When questioned on his reluctance, he admitted it stemmed from his fear of being seen as pretentious. He in no manner displays pretention. He is enthusiastic and working hard to realise his social enterprise project. He’s simply young and has yet to figure out how to stand secure in the space he wants to occupy.

We have a ‘tall poppy’ problem in this country. That’s not adding anything new to any conversation. The challenge is to start having conversations around what it means to be passionate with intent and defining the impact we want to have. Are you simply ‘fluffing off’ your purpose? Or do you make all your decisions against what you stand for? Do you spruik ‘empowerment’ and then micromanage? Do you hire on CV? Or do you hire because the people you are interviewing align with your vision and values?

It’s not only delivering with intent and impact that is important. The flip is how we receive the messages that are being fed to us. Are you receiving and feeling connected? Or are you receiving because it’s cool to join a movement? When a message is being delivered with the intention of growing the receiver and not feeding the ego of the messenger, that’s powerful purpose. 

Christina Gerakiteys is a creativity and innovation expert and founder of Ideation At Work. She facilitates the Rippler Effect Innovation Program