Leading with Why

What to do when you have nothing to do

Recently I joined a new company. In the midst of my excitement I flew through the training portion before they were ready for me to move on to the next step. It wasn’t the company’s fault and there were some slow downs with the client I would be working with, but it still left me with nothing to do. So…I went home.

In that time I started doing things around the house and trying to make my wife’s life a little easier, but it didn’t satisfy me at the end of the day. I’m a worker. I NEED to work. No, I don’t define my personal worth by my work, but it IS something I enjoy doing, being productive and getting out of the house.

What I decided to do to fill my cup a little more was dive into the things my company offers. I have a better understanding of what they do, who they are, and WHY they do what they do. That worked…for awhile.

Then the unrest started to settle in again and I had to find something else. Then it occurred to me. This is a perfect time to come up with something new, use my brain, be innovative. I’m a blank slate when it comes to the real brass tacks of the company. Sure, I know the processes, the business model, etc., but I don’t REALLY know what it is like to work there. What else could I do but apply my brain to something I am passionate about and see if I could bend it to make it work INSIDE the company I work for.

I keep track of the ideas I have. 90% of the time they are completely unrelated from what I’m doing at the time and don’t really apply. Now, I had a perfect time to dig through those ideas and find something that might work, something that I could actually take action on with the resources the company has to offer.

So, I didn’t waste my time toiling away catching up on Netflix TV shows that I’d been wanting to see (I take that back…they were on in the background…I’m a sucker for good TV). I planned and started fleshing out one of my mind maps with only one or two bubbles I had written down xx months ago. After a few days of thinking and building on this new concept I really had something, something that could really work, something that could have a serious impact on my company.

I got excited! I sent it to a friend of mine that has been with the company for awhile as well as someone else I trust to get their input. I haven’t heard back yet. For all I know the idea could be total crap, but I DO KNOW that I felt fulfilled. I felt like I had contributed something to the whole, made a mark, or, at the very least, planted a seed that could grow into something completely different that I might be able to use later.

The point is, I didn’t waste my time while waiting on a phone call. I got proactive and stepped outside the box of what I was supposed to do and did something that nobody expected me to do. I had a chance to really express my own vision for something and make an impact on the company that has pulled me out of the hole. It doesn’t matter if the idea is successful. What matters is that I DID something. And that makes me feel pretty good.

I hope this made you better….

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