Over the first eight years of Eklund Consulting, we’ve played with lots of tag lines and linguistic nuggets to encapsulate core principles of our work. Our most recent iteration shows up on coffee mugs, notebooks, and our website: “Life is short. Love your work.” For the most part, I like this notion. I strive toward it in my own life and we’re certainly unapologetic about leading people and organizations through the complex and altogether satisfying process of getting to the place where they can love their work.
Something about our tag line also is jarring and demands nuance and conversation. I think our entire industry that leads to outcomes like “work/life balance” or “loving your job” are riddled with an undertone of privilege. Taken at face value, our own quip suggests that if you don’t LOVE your job, just leave it and find something else AMAZING! Wouldn’t it be fantastic if that was a luxury afforded us all? It’s not. Not even close.
So let me explain what we mean by this slogan. At the center of our work is an invitation to the truly hard work of making work work. We invite groups into a space where they are doing everything from removing daily nuisances to finally grappling with long held tensions and divisions. We’re championing individuals to deal directly with personal conflicts with co-workers. And yes - sometimes we’re helping people leave their jobs so they can go find the next opportunity that speaks to their best selves.
In other words, “Life is short. Love your work” isn’t glib. It isn’t a trite and vague suggestion that you should wake up one morning and decide to love your job. Instead it really says this: “Our lives are precious. Who we are as people is pretty miraculous when we’re at our best. Therefore, let’s work exceptionally hard on how we work together so that we’re able to be as awesome as we actually are.”
Not as catchy certainly. But definitely more accurate to our intent. Are you ready to stop having your work diminish who you are? Are you ready to break the cycle of repeated stressors? Are you finally ready to deal with the things that you know you need to deal with but just haven’t had the gumption to deal with? Then you get this coffee mug.
We’re here to help when you’re ready.