The fourth block of Loehr and Schwartz’s High Performance Pyramid is building Spiritual Capacity. This has nothing to do with religion. Here they are referring to your deepest values that give you a sense of purpose. Building spiritual capacity helps increase resiliency in the face of challenges as well as enabling you to sustain focus, motivation and determination as you pursue your goals. Take some time right now to connect to your deeper values. What in life is really important to you? Is it your family, your children, your spouse? Why are you a freight agent, because you like to help others? Is it to make money to provide a certain lifestyle or to enjoy the activities you like to do? Do you find rewards beyond the financial in your work, such as providing a great level of service to your customers and building those relationships?
There is a school of thought that embraces the idea that success and happiness come from building on and using your strengths instead of focusing on correcting your weaknesses. When you leverage your strengths, you can tap into your sense of purpose and enter a state called “Flow” where you actually lose track of time while performing certain tasks. According to the research of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, experiencing this state of flow on a regular basis enhances happiness and life satisfaction. But according to Stephen Cope, author of The Great Work of Your Life, when you are doing whatever your purpose is in life, you are not necessarily happy and excited all the time while doing it, so it can be work and not play, but you do get a strong feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment.
I recently took an online assessment by Gallup that accompanies a book Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath that advocates identifying and using your strengths. Having identified my strengths, I looked at how I can apply them at work to grow my business as well as gain more fulfillment every day. While writing this series of blogs, I truly experienced “Flow” and lost track of time. I felt as if I was at a level of very high performance.
As a freight agent on the practical side, you do need to make money to support yourself and your family, but there can still be more to being an agent than just the money. You may think of the business as a job, which is a means to this end. You may think of being an agent as a career, where you are interested in developing yourself to grow professionally, creating an agency with other agents, dispatchers, or sales people or moving up the food chain in an office environment as an employee. Or you may think of it as a calling, where you are fulfilling your purpose to service the customer, develop the people in your agency, and build a loyal carrier base. Wherever you are on this continuum, you can still identify your strengths and use them in your day-to-day business function in order to achieve moments of flow and purpose. Problem-solving on tough loads, communicating with shippers, multitasking when you have many live loads, empathizing with drivers, any of these can be strengths you can use, develop, and feel proud of to give you a larger sense of purpose on a day-to day basis. This will energize you in your daily life and enable you to become more resilient during the tough times when a driver disappears or you lose a good customer.
Here is Loehr and Schwartz’s High Performance Pyramid.
Loehr and Schwartz tied up their Harvard Business Review article on this subject by writing, “When people feel strong and resilent—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—they perform better, with more passion, for longer. They win, their families win, and the corporations that employ them win.”
I believe that freight agents can win by building the pyramids in their own lives to achieve an ideal performance state and become more energetic, resilient, and fulfilled.
My next blogs will be more on the subject of Sales, and I will write about how to diagnose your prospect’s pain to customize your transportation prospect’s sales message.
– By Cheryl Biron, President