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Authors: Thomas J DeLong
Chapter from: "Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success"
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: 2011

Abstract

Achievement-craving professionals experience high levels of anxiety, and doubts about their own purpose top the list. What's it all about? Am I connected to a cause or an enterprise that matters? Do I matter? In this chapter, organizational behavior expert Thomas DeLong shows how developing a clear sense of purpose can help you defeat the anxiety that gets in the way of greater accomplishment. Seeking full engagement with your work - whether that means asking your boss to clarify your role in the company, taking on a challenging new assignment, or changing jobs altogether - is one way to get past your anxiety and summon the courage to align yourself with your purpose. Another is to demand straight talk rather than ambiguity from those in a position to give you feedback. Case studies, personal stories, and self-assessment questions will start you on the path to feeling a stronger sense of purpose and finding a better fit in your organization. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 3 of ‘Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success.’ This chapter is excerpted from ‘Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success'.

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Abstract

Achievement-craving professionals experience high levels of anxiety, and doubts about their own purpose top the list. What's it all about? Am I connected to a cause or an enterprise that matters? Do I matter? In this chapter, organizational behavior expert Thomas DeLong shows how developing a clear sense of purpose can help you defeat the anxiety that gets in the way of greater accomplishment. Seeking full engagement with your work - whether that means asking your boss to clarify your role in the company, taking on a challenging new assignment, or changing jobs altogether - is one way to get past your anxiety and summon the courage to align yourself with your purpose. Another is to demand straight talk rather than ambiguity from those in a position to give you feedback. Case studies, personal stories, and self-assessment questions will start you on the path to feeling a stronger sense of purpose and finding a better fit in your organization. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 3 of ‘Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success.’ This chapter is excerpted from ‘Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success'.

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