Been thinking! Yes I’m at it again! Always thinking of new ways of looking at old things.

Author (Dusan Djukich)  in one of his books used the phrase “Intention Deficit Disorder” (IDD) to describe leaders without a clear compelling purpose to their lives. That got me thinking.

We use ADD and ADHD to describe both children and adults who have a problem staying focused; their minds seem to be all over the place. In many cases medication is prescribed—perhaps for the rest of their lives. 

So now we have IDD in addition to ADD and ADHD.

Now, my point here is not to disparage the ailment (or the treatment) that many have and which has been medically diagnosed, but to discuss a possible relationship between IDD and ADD.

For adults (I won’t address children) who find themselves in a leadership role, IDD can demonstrate itself with ADD. When there is a lack of intention/purpose, it can mean being all over the place in what they do—no boundaries, no sense of where to focus or what to put time, money and energy toward.

In my first book, “Leaders Who last,” I tell the story of a successful businessman baring his soul:

“As you know, I have been very fortunate in my career and I’ve made a lot of money—far more than I ever dreamed of. Far more than I could ever spend, far more than my family needs.” The speaker was a prominent businessman at a conference near Oxford University. The strength of his determination and character showed in his face, but a moment’s hesitation betrayed deeper emotions hidden behind the outward intensity. 

A single tear rolled slowly down his well-tanned cheek, “To be honest, one of my motives for making so much money was simple—to have the money to hire people to do what I don’t like doing. 

But there’s one thing I’ve never been able to hire anyone to do for me; find my own sense of purpose and fulfillment. I’d give anything to discover that.” 

Having a clear and compelling purpose may be the missing ingredient in the lives of many leaders who find themselves very busy, very tired, very frustrated but not focused and fruitful.

I have been struck with 2 Timothy 3:10 NLT:

“But you Timothy, certainly know what I teach and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my life, and my endurance.” 

Recently I memorized Proverb 4:25 in the Passion Translation:

“Set you gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life distractions.” 

Having a purpose has a way of keeping us fixed, intentional and able to say no to distractions that would pull us in a different direction. 

Those of you who have read, “Leaders Who Last” will recall that the first five chapters deal with:

  • Power
  • Purpose
  • Passion
  • Priorities
  • Pacing

With the power of the Holy Spirit in the center, we gain a strong “Intention,” purpose with our lives, which results in passion. Out of that Purpose/Passion and the energy of the Holy Spirit, we set priorities and pace ourselves well to honor Him. 

I pray over each of these five for myself most every day—That by His grace I wouldn’t loose sight of any of them. My expressed purpose in life is:

“To help develop, equip and empower leaders so that they finish their race well.” 

I do this by

  • Coaching
  • Teaching
  • Writing

I spend 90% of my working hours on this. I’m beginning to realize that people who are really good at something are probably lousy at most everything else. There are not too many Thomas Edison’s among us. 

I recently read of a researcher who interviewed thousands of retirees asking what their single biggest issue was. To his surprise  the biggest item was no longer having a purpose in life. 

One of my coaching clients has had a business for 30 years simply helping people discover and stay focused on a clear and compelling purpose. He has personally impacted over 10,000 people and he’s not through yet!

In my coaching, one of the first things I do is send my clients on a personal retreat. On that retreat they write a rough draft of a personal purpose statement. For some it’s the first time they have ever thought about their life purpose and started evaluating what they say yes or no to based on that purpose.

From time to time I ask someone what their “Vocation” is. They tell me about their job. There is a big difference between a job and a calling. Read this post on that topic:

Job or Calling?

Some simple, but profound questions to ask yourself are:

“What problem out there are YOU the answer to?”

What keeps you up at night?

What bothers you?

Do you find yourself saying, “Someone should do something about this?”

These questions might lead you to your Purpose, your calling, your focus in life; whether you are 25, 45 or 65!