The pursuit of goodness…

What is our defining purpose?

Amidst this fast-paced world where we feel we are are either fighting for survival or competing for success we may sometimes lose sight of the end game.

Are we paying enough attention to the “Why”? Our Purpose!

In an earlier article we asked: How will we lead our lives?

The sum total of our efforts. Everybody in their life will leave behind a body of work – It is important to reflect on what that would look like.

The pursuit of goodness is a natural extension to that question.

It explores what we do, not as a quantitative measurement of success, but from a qualitative perspective on how it is achieved.

For what value is all the wealth in the world; or corporate success; or individual accomplishments such as an athletic world record or even your team winning a national championship if it is at the cost of goodness?

A quantitative assessment of performance may well be regarded as bad, good, great or even excellent.

However, when we view achievement from a qualitative perspective we must consider morality, ethics, kindness and generosity.

The former is about the striving for excellence – the latter is about the pursuit of goodness. And they are not incompatible.

Inherent in goodness is beauty, purity, peace, fairness, hope and all that is good.

It is aspirational!

Almost unachievable – but worth spending one’s life in its quest.

Living a good life is not antithetical to achievement or ambition rather a contextual framework for how we go about doing so.

In my time in leadership and management, in sport and in the corporate world, I’ve found nothing more powerful than the shared pursuit of goodness – in uniting people, teams, culture and values to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Goodness requires us to humanise our work and our life. It turns our focus to the sanctity of the human being.

That fundamental recognition that at the very core – the human person is most important!

More than any goal, KPI, target, world record or championship.

For every person has potential – to do good, to change the world for the better when their strengths are harnessed and their contribution has meaning.

My 15-year-old daughter, who works part-time at a global fast food chain, recounted recently at the dinner table how she was going to miss her boss who was being promoted to a senior position.

When I asked her why, she said “because my manager cared about us.”

“Everything we do is measured and we have targets and KPIs – how long it takes to prepare, serve, transact. Yet, she always looked beyond the metrics and cared about each of us and wanted us to learn and develop as well as contribute to reach the organisation’s goals,” she said. “Our boss believed in us.”

It was truly moving to see what an impact a young manager could have even in a highly controlled environment when she raised her gaze above the everyday. When there was a genuine desire to prioritise what was most important – to never forget the human being.

For when all is said and done, long after the memories of success and achievement fade – the real legacy is whether we pursued goodness – provided hope, joy, peace and had a meaningful contribution in the lives of others.