By Jon Gordon
From Jon Gordon, the international and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Energy Bus, The Seed is an engaging business fable that can help you discover your purpose in business and in life by taking you on a quest for the meaning and passion behind work.
Gordon’s book follows the story of Josh, a mid-level employee of a respected company who finds he has lost his passion for work. Josh’s boss is aware of his burnout, confronts him and offers him time off to decide whether his job is worth keeping. So off Josh goes to find his purpose. On his journey, he meets several people who guide him along the way, introducing him to the concept of the seed.
There are four stages of the seed: First preparation, second planting, third growth and finally the fourth stage, harvest. In the preparation stage, Josh learns that anything one has ever done, all of one’s gifts, talents, lessons learned, lead up to finding one’s purpose.
Through Josh’s cross-country journey, you will find surprising sources of wisdom and inspiration for your own business and life.
In the Author’s Words…
What inspired you to write The Seed?
Gordon: “I had a vision of a farmer giving a young man a seed and saying ‘Find out where to plant this seed and your purpose will be revealed to you.’ I think about passion and purpose a lot, and was inspired to write a story about the journey and the four stages we all have to go through to find, live and share our purpose in our life and work.”
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to find a bigger purpose in their life or work?
Gordon: “I believe there’s a flawed perception in our society that in order to live a life of purpose, we have to go solve world hunger, feed the homeless, move to Africa or start a charity. While these are all noble causes and many are called to do these very things, for many of us, our bigger purpose can be found in the here and now, in the jobs or businesses we have, right under our noses. And when we find and live this purpose, it will provide the ultimate fuel for a meaningful life. You may not build libraries around the world, but you can find the bigger purpose in reading to your children. You may not feed the homeless every day, but you can nourish your employees and customers with a smile, kind word and care. And while you may not start your own non-profit organization, you can begin a charity initiative at work. After all, ‘charity’ means ‘love in action.’ You can make a difference every day and touch the lives of everyone you meet. I have found that when you decide to serve in small ways, you get more opportunities to serve in bigger ways. When you decide to live with purpose, your bigger purpose finds you!”
Do you know anyone personally who has found their bigger purpose? If so, what was it?
Gordon: “I heard of a janitor who worked at NASA, and even though he was sweeping floors, he felt his bigger purpose was contributing to put a man on the moon. I met a bus driver who knows his purpose is to help kids stay off drugs. I received an e-mail from a man in the mortgage business who sees his job as a way to help couples save their marriages by keeping their homes. I know a Popeye’s Chicken employee named Edith in the Atlanta Airport who makes thousands of air travelers smile each day. I found my purpose when, at the peak of my unhappiness, I asked, ‘Why am I here and how can I serve?’ A few days later, writing and speaking (something I never did before) came to me and I haven’t stopped since.”
More from this issue
- EVERYONE HAS A WHY: What’s Yours?
- WHY ASK WHY? Knowing and Driving Your Purpose Leads to Business Growth and Success
- Why NAWBO? See For Yourself!
- SERVANT LEADERSHIP
- Driven by Our Purpose
- One Hundred and Three Days
- THIS JUST IN: New Report Focuses on Increasing WBO Access to Private Markets
- ONBOARD: Revolutionizing the Board Diversity Problem
- What to Expect: The Year Ahead in Advocacy
- Government Certifications Is Ranjani Mohana’s Expertise with R Mo Business Solutions
- HOW DO GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE ACTION? Start With Why