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How to Find Fulfillment When Work is Frustrating

Leadership is frustrating sometimes. Other times it’s fulfilling.

How do leaders find fulfillment?

Fulfillment isn’t a job title. I know people who have powerful job titles who aren’t fulfilled.

Achievement doesn’t promise fulfillment. People who achieve great things commit suicide just like the rest of us.

How to find fulfillment in leadership:

#1. Ego seeks fulfillment in the wrong places.

I’ve had jobs that made me miserable. But lack of fulfillment was about me, not the job. I thought I was more talented than people who had jobs above mine.

I wasn’t fulfilled because I thought I deserved better.

Feeling like you deserve better kills fulfillment.

Conceited people aren’t fulfilled. When you’re full of yourself, there’s no room for fulfillment.

#2. Fulfillment is a way of seeing.

Job Monkey reports there are 1.5 million deer collisions every year in Pennsylvania. Every major highway in Pennsylvania has dead animals on the side of the road, mostly deer. Imagine you manage a team that collects roadkill. Could you be fulfilled?

You might be a miserable person who deserves a better job, or you might be a person who makes the world more beautiful.

See yourself through the lens of your contribution.

Mike Rowe refers to picking up roadkill in this TED talk. (12) Learning from dirty jobs | Mike Rowe – YouTube

#3. Fulfillment is social.

Fulfillment is easier when people admire your work. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s easier.

When you admire people’s work, you create environments where fulfillment is more likely.

#4. Fulfillment is internal, not external.

Fulfillment is about the way you think about yourself, not your geography or environment. In Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl demonstrates how to find meaning by living for something bigger than yourself, even in a Nazi death camp.

300 words won’t solve the mystery of fulfillment. What might you add?

What drains fulfillment?

How do leaders find fulfillment? Help others find fulfillment?

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