The bottom-line is not necessarily limited to finances or even business.

◘ Why are you doing what you're doing?
◘ Is your work and life as effective as you would like it to be?

Why are you here?
No, I don't mean, "why are you here on the planet?" That is a valid question, certainly, but we'll save the existential discussion for another time. Let's start smaller than that.

Why are you in this position, doing this job at this organization?
Historically, this is where the eyes glaze over and I am invited to witness the human reenactment of a deer in headlights. It is the same reaction one might expect if you had asked one to define the theory of relativity in 25 words or less. It is often at this point that the room grows uncomfortably quiet.

AH-HA! I think we may be on to something. Perhaps we are indeed at the root of the issue.Your boss knows why you are in this job (at least, that is our operating assumption). Someone, somewhere, concluded that you were the best person to fulfill this need.

Why do you assume that your answer is the same?
Say, what? You heard me. Why ARE you working here? Your answer to this question may be different than the answers provided by your boss. SACRILEGE! I know; the truth may make you a bit uncomfortable, but bear with me for a moment. Let's get down to the "core," shall we?

What do you want?
If you don't know the answer to this question, what are you doing everyday? Let me give you an analogy. If you go to the drive-thru window of your favorite fast food restaurant, the only way that you get the cheeseburger without the pickle and the large fries is if YOU ORDER IT. You could wait at the window until they guess correctly, but it may not be very effective and the results may be very disappointing.

Awaken to your responsibility!
I don't mean to sound like your mother here, but it may be time to assume a greater sense of conscious responsibility. In my work, I come in contact with many miserable employees who are waiting impatiently for the people in their organization to "get it." So often, we await the day of reckoning--that day when our bosses will awaken to the truth. They will realize how brilliant we truly are and they will give us the credit, recognition and rewards that we deserve. They may even provide us with all of the tools that we need to be more productive. Imagine that! I have a question for you: what if they don¡¦t get it? What if they NEVER get it? Then, what are you going to do?

Who is responsible for your success?
The organization has a responsibility (I will suggest) to provide you with clear expectations of performance and a means of evaluating your productivity, improvement and success. Your responsibility as an employee is to be clear about those expectations, how your performance will be evaluated and to determine what you need in order to succeed. There may be 20 other employees with the same title, position and responsibilities, but what you need to succeed may be different. Oh, the beauty and complexities of diversity!

Vindication vs. Vitality
I know what you're thinking. Why don't those people who are supposed to be my leaders understand what I do and what I need to be successful? What is wrong with those people?

Well, there are two kinds of conversations that we may have here. One deals with the validation for how you feel. This is where we sympathize, empathize and understand your frustrations by examining all of the evidence that you have gathered to support your claim. Let's simply conclude that all feelings are valid. There, you're vindicated. This may make you feel better for a few moments, but it is probably not going to result in anything productive for you or the organization.

The other conversation deals with vitality--how you are going to live and thrive in this environment? What you are going to do to get what you want/need in order to succeed? This may be a more difficult conversation, but it will force you to make conscious choices regarding your performance and productivity.

What is "success" anyway?
Success has no meaning unless it is defined and one definition DOES NOT fit all. In order to achieve organizational success, you must answer four key questions:

◘ Who does the organization want/need you to be in order to be successful?
◘ Who do my coworkers/colleagues/managers want or need me to be so that they may be successful?
◘ Who do I want/need to be to be successful?
◘ How is "success" defined for ALL of the above?

If you don't know how it is defined, how can you possibly achieve it? If you don't have the answers, are you asking for them? If you don't have what you need in order to succeed, have you asked for it?

Free to be: you & me
Life unfolds based on choices. We always have a choice. We can accept that the organization is simply a group of people brought together with the purpose of reaching a common goal. As people, we are all different and full of flaws, foibles and folly. As an employee that accepts a paycheck for performance, one might suggest that you have agreed to assist the organization in reaching its goals. To that end, are you doing everything within your power to be successful or are you waiting for someone else to tell you what you need? If you don't feel that this can be accomplished to your satisfaction, remember that your choice (however painful) also includes "the door." You may leave at any time.

The truth lies in the question.
I have a secret. There is no model for success. There are as many solutions as there are problems and the people and circumstances that create them. The key to success lies in the questions that you ask, not in the answers that you seek. Life evolves; people change; organizations must meet the needs of a changing world. The answers may change; the questions do not.

What is the “bottom-line” for you?
This is the question that only you can answer. If you haven’t answered it, what are you waiting for?

Author's Bio: 

Mark is a self-proclaimed provocateur, encouraging his clients to awaken to their own power and possiblity by thinking inside, outside and all around the box! Contact Mark for strategic life planning, speaking engagements and workshops for individuals or organizations: (