A Former Navy SEAL’s Guide To Giving Your Work More Purpose

Jeff Boss’s four questions will help you determine if your daily work activities are aligned with broader goals or if you’re just trying to stay busy.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn. 

It’s much easier said than done.

Working with purpose, whether it is the mental focus or the spiritual passion that guides you, is a powerful thing.Of course, there’s a difference in working with purpose and working with busyness. When you work with purpose, you’re fulfilling your long-term needs; when you work to appear busy, you’re satisfying short-term needs — you know, those superficial behaviors that don’t really improve you or the business.

More so, if you’re working without purpose, then chances are others aren’t either, which means there’s a much greater challenge here: a misaligned organization. In these instances, it’s more often physical stress (i.e., emotion) that serves as the guiding purpose rather than personal meaning (i.e., spiritual).

If busyness is part of your daily schedule, ask yourself these four questions:

1. How do your actions align with company goals, team goals, and personal goals?

If the answer is, “I have no idea,” then try setting goals to make sure they do. Goal setting helps you in two ways: it helps you unearth the values and beliefs that drive you by identifying what’s really important to you; and it focuses your attention on a strategy to fulfill them. Once you identify what’s important to you and a plan to “get there,” you now have a foundation for self-directed motivation. Boom!

2. How do you imagine yourself engaging in activities that realize your goals?

If you can’t physically take part in something, use visualization to trick your mind into believing it’s real. When you visualize your actions, feelings, and responses to a potential situation that is yet to occur, you fool your mind into believing it has actually happened so that when that situation arises, your brain just goes through the motions again because it believes it has already been there. And let’s face it; some of our minds are easier to trick than others.

3. How do you focus to achieve your goals?

I don’t know about you, but when I see that little white email icon appear on my Outlook menu indicating new email has arrived, I have an immediate impulse to check it (only to find some silly offer from someone that I thought I unsubscribed from).

Of all the office distractions that arise out of nowhere, email is the most toxic, which is why focus is so important.

Specifically, you want to create cues that compel you to “be” and to “do.” Anything else is just a distraction. If you’re not being the person you want to be, or doing the things you want to do, then what you’re really focusing on is wasted effort. When you do tasks out of habit and fail to question their validity, it’s a clear absence of purpose, or lack of thought behind what you’re doing. Justify why you do the things you do. Put some thought into how much value they bring and decide if they’re worth continuing.

And, if impulse or habit do get the better of you, ask yourself…

4. What activities don’t contribute to your goals?

As mentioned before, impulse control isn’t easy. It takes not only concerted effort but the skill of awareness to be cognizant of it and the will to remedy it. After all, being aware a challenge exists is no good without designing the action to overcome it.

To succeed in anything requires a clear purpose, and business is no different. Remember, there’s a difference between activity and achievement. The ability to focus and create consistency of purpose while adapting to change puts you at a competitive advantage.

KimA Former Navy SEAL’s Guide To Giving Your Work More Purpose
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Happy Fourth of July!



On the occasion of the Fourth of July, we recognize the importance of our country’s roots, history and founding principles and the importance of family in it all.  Enjoy this weekend’s celebration responsibly and celebrate in it all.

KimHappy Fourth of July!
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Doug Allred Named Mr. Nice Guy — Long-Time Supporter of the U.S. Navy SEALs and Their Families

“We are very happy to see Mr. Allred selected for this prestigious award, and are humbled and honored to be the recipient organization of the 17 Oct event. Mr. Allred has been a dedicated supporter of the U.S. Navy SEALs and their families for a number of years and we are fortunate to have him in our corner.”

Doug Allred tapped for ‘Mr. Nice Guy’

Longtime area developer Doug Allred is to be named San Diego’s 2015 “Mr. Nice Guy.”— Courtesy of San Diego Nice Guys

For the past five years, Doug Allred has quietly sent flowers and gift certificates at Christmas to the wives of deployed San Diego SEAL team members.

The Del Mar real estate developer, a longtime supporter of the San Dieguito Boys & Girls Clubs, even underwrote some employees’ salaries during a financial crisis, says friend John Lynch.

These silent “good deeds” weren’t part of Allred’s vita when a committee of the San Diego Nice Guys organization decided to name him “2015 Nice Guy of the Year” during its gala Oct. 17.

But the group, whose 36-year mission has been to give folks a hand up instead of a hand out, looked at numerous examples of the businessman’s commitment of time, money and expertise to help San Diegans improve their lives.

Along with the Nice Guy title, the founder of the Doug Allred Co. gets to choose major beneficiaries of the gala fundraiser. As a former Navy Underwater Demolition Team member, he is acutely aware and appreciative of the sacrifices made by Navy families and is designating the SEAL Naval Special Warfare Family Foundation as a beneficiary.

And because he lost his wife of 56 years in 2013 to ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a devastating neurodegenerative disease, Allred wants to help families of other ALS sufferers struggling to care for loved ones.

He first spotted Ann across the football field at the University of Arizona when she was a cheerleader and he was a player. “I thought she was ravishing,” he recounted to a U-T reporter. “She was my last date. I didn’t need to meet another girl.”

Upon news of his selection as “Nice Guy of the Year,” Allred said he is both humbled and honored, calling the Nice Guys “angels to many people when help is needed.”

KimDoug Allred Named Mr. Nice Guy — Long-Time Supporter of the U.S. Navy SEALs and Their Families
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Operation Red Wings — 10th Anniversary on June 28

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the brave men who lost their lives for our country, for the mission and for the brotherhood. Sunday, June 28 marks the anniversary of Operation Red Wings and it is with the utmost honor and respect that we remember the Gold Star Families that have been left behind to carry on their heritage.

Operation Red Wings claimed the lives of 11 Navy SEALs and eight Army Night Stalkers, Soldiers assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, who were conducting combat operations deep behind enemy lines east of Asadabad in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan.

As you enter this weekend and the weeks ahead, please take the time to honor and remember our heroes who have selflessly given their lives for our freedom and safety.

KimOperation Red Wings — 10th Anniversary on June 28
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What being a Navy SEAL taught me about excellence

“Mr. Webb’s points in this article are spot on. His focus on excellence in the family domain is especially meaningful to us. We believe the same; excellence is key and a resilient family is better able to produce excellence in all they do” — SEAL-NSW Family Foundation

Business Insider

Brandon Webb

Former Navy SEAL and current CEO of Force12 Media, Brandon Webb

I was recently interviewed for the Harvard Business Review about my management experience as a Naval Special Warfare (NSW) sniper course manager.

The interviewer asked me if I had advice for organizations that wanted to train to “good enough.”

I explained that this was a question I wasn’t willing to answer; it’s just not in my DNA to go there I explained.

As a Navy SEAL, and sniper, one of the things I learned was that excellence matters. It matters whether you’re on a SEAL Team, business team, family team, or part of your country, your church softball team or your Tuesday night bowling league.

Excellence matters in everything we do.

Your commitment to excellence (or lack thereof) defines who you are as an individual. It dictates how you perform when everyone is looking. It also is the standard you set for yourself when no one is looking; it’s just how you do things.

One might call it pride in what you do.

brandon webbCourtesy of Brandon Webb

Here’s the other thing about excellence: it’s contagious. The drive for excellence not only motivates you, but it motivates those around you. Great players want to be on great teams. That’s why one of the hallmarks of the great leaders is their own individual passion for – and commitment to – excellence.

So how does one go about achieving excellence? Here are five things I learned from my time at a Navy SEAL that are key characteristics of excellence.

1. Train and train harder than you expect to have to perform

brandon webbCourtesy of Brandon Webb

Great performers – in sports, the arts, business or whatever field — have undertaken massive amounts of training. And when that training is complete…… they train some more, and harder than they expect to perform. Why? Training builds confidence and ensures peak performance.

I’ll let you in on another secret. If you’re having an off day, don’t train, it can be destructive and reinforce bad habits. This applies to groups, teams as well, and to any type of training environment.

2. Focus on the positive. Envision success. Believe winning and success is inevitable

Champions of all sorts expect to succeed under any conditions (see adaptability below). When I started telling my sniper students I mentored that it was ok — and that I expected them — to score perfect on their shooting tests (80% is passing) they started shooting perfect scores.

3. Great leaders are secure in themselves

brandon webb navy sealsCourtesy of Brandon Webb

They know great ideas – winning ideas – can come from anyone and anywhere. They don’t let rank or seniority dictate who has the best solution to a given problem. Leaders aren’t afraid to surround themselves with people smarter then themselves, or admit they don’t understand or know something.

As a digital media CEO I see so many people in my industry afraid to ask technical questions. Saying “I don’t understand, please explain” is powerful.

And remember that the intern making the coffee may be in a position to see an answer to a question that the person sitting in the corner office hasn’t thought about. Great leaders know this and are open to input from up and down the chain of command.

4. Start thinking about adversity and competition as chances to challenge yourself

… or your organization and to learn. World records aren’t broken in practice, and competitive environments and adversity are the birthplace of champions. Great leaders know that adversity produces the greatest opportunities in life.

5. Excellence comes at a price

brandon webb navy seal sniperCourtesy of Brandon Webb

A famous friend of mine and I recently had a conversation about the cost of excellence and success.

He is one of the most successful actors on television, and I was surprised to hear that we had similar experiences with success.

It became clear to me that success comes at a price, regardless of whether you’re a Navy SEAL, student, or business professional.

There are always going to be a group of people who are insecure with themselves, and who will attempt to bring you down. I call them “Ankle Biters” and “Dream Stealers.”

Watch out for them because they are quick to push their own insecurities, envy, and negative energy on you.

Brandon Webb is a former US Navy SEAL with combat deployments to southwest Asia, including Iraq, and Afghanistan. He was a Course Manager for the US Navy SEAL Sniper program, arguably the most difficult sniper course in the world. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He is the author of Among Heroes, The Red Circle, The Making of a Navy SEAL, The ISIS Solution, and Navy SEAL Sniper.

Read more:  http://www.businessinsider.com/what-being-a-navy-seal-taught-me-about-excellence-2015-6#ixzz3dSPIoBSt

KimWhat being a Navy SEAL taught me about excellence
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