Recognizing a shift “to do more great work.”

Posted on 17. Mar, 2010 by in Life Coaching

In the past few weeks I have been having conversations with a wide array of people, in new places, about new ideas. I must admit it has been quite a trip! I needed to quiet myself today to come to the awareness that what I’m creating is a shift to do what Michael Bungay Stanier explains as “great work.” (Do More Great Work, 2010). For me, doing more “great work” is at times unrecognizable; and yet, I understand it to be so profoundly engaging, important, and necessary.

At times I feel content with my day-to-day work, and often a change to do more “great work” feels abstract and impractical. Then there are moments and conversations when I recognize this potential work as the calling of my soul, and simply the next step, and undeniably, emergent. So how do we recognize a shift to do work beyond the familiar, “the bread and butter,” and the routine?

We may notice a few things happening, like:

  • a subtle irritation with the way things are
  • a search for something challenging
  • landing on new information and ideas that provoke you
  • questioning “is this it?”

So what do we do then? Allow me to share one experience of mine in the past week. While taking part as a “feminine leader” at the Amazing Woman’s Day (which was an opportunity that I said “yes” to – another sign) I was delighted, tearful, and surprised by the great sharing of women’s stories. So in the idea of this yet to be fully discovered work being the calling of my soul, I recognize this recent experience as one door opened.

After being among all the stories and conversations during Amazing Woman’s Day, and afterward, I realized something:  I was left with is a truer understanding of what deeply affects my soul, and rather than ignore it, I yearn to support and lift it up by doing something – something that has impact and meaning in my work. The day stories spoke to injustice, oppression, but also, resilience and inspiration–how wonderful! I’m in total awe of how powerful it is to share and uniquely define our stories. This brings me to the great work that is emerging for me, one that unites people through collective wisdom, engagement, and values to create a road map for collaboration, innovation, and outcome. Whew! I’m excited and scared at the same time; like being at the top of a roller coaster ready for the ride of a life time.  What I recognize in this is a tension and shift to do great work or at least to focus on what really matters to me.

The people that come to me for life coaching don’t engage me because their work and life are a wreck, it’s less dramatic and more realistic that they are doing “good work” mixed with a measure of unsatisfactory experiences. They may be searching for:

  • a better fit for who they are and how they work
  • wanting to stretch, grow, and succeed in something important to them
  • ready to manage themselves in a more effective way to improve all areas of their life

Most often people come to me to make important changes that they know they must take but are not easy to do alone. They already feel a tension, and recognize a shift by finding themselves taking on new opportunities or among new people and places; all of which are part of the process, independently occurring, and not necessarily in harmony yet. Looking at the variety of conversations and contexts in which you might find yourself, be inspired that the undercurrent in all this activity is moving you toward something greater, or rather, preparing you to live and work in a different way.

This brings me to what I wrote in step 6 of my ebook, Seven Steps to Change the Status Quo: “We learn that self discipline actually manifests the results and progress we wish to see. We find the freedom to move forward.” So in preparation to “do more great work” and add spice to your life, a certain discipline to create the structure and habits to get you there is helpful. It may take a little time to find your rhythm, but when you do it is energizing and aligns with doing some “great work.”

Being in the midst of change, recognize that the new ideas, people, places, and structures will support a shift to do more “great work,” along with the work that is your “break and butter.”  Despite our busy lifestyles, it’s essential to step out of the current, and consider who or what in our recent experience inspires us and can also bring forth something that is truly relevant to our lives, and our work today.  I wonder, what are you doing to create life and work that matters to you?

I invite you to have a conversation with me, to explore what is possible, and confidently take action through a structured process of change.

With great admiration for those I meet on this great ride.


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2 Responses to “Recognizing a shift “to do more great work.””

  1. Michael

    18. Mar, 2010

    Love post, Susan – and great story about connecting w. your great work

  2. Susan Wright

    18. Mar, 2010

    Thanks Michael, the various “maps” throughout your book provide quick insight and certainly a guide to move people away from mediocrity to work that inspires and challenges.

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