All or Nothing

Posted on April 8, 2015

I believe our lives and what we do every day, ALL that we do every day, have a purpose or the effort is meaningless. Your actions have meaning, all of your actions have worth (positive or negative worth depending on the action), there is always much more going on than you realize. Now this might sound harsh, but I don’t believe the design of this world allows for what you do and what you believe to be marginally important. I am placed in this garden, this garden has hurting, this garden has hope and opportunity, I am called to care for my family, to care for the families within our enterprise, to grow the enterprise and be fruitful. 

So what is your point?…you often ask…(thank you for not rolling your eyes like my kids do when they say that)…. my point is to try and inspire everyone in our organization to realize that what you do, ALL of the things that go on in our enterprise every day, are important.

It is not logical that the purpose of your life is to spend the majority of your hours at work so that the real purpose happens elsewhere. Your purpose, why we do what we do, has to be integrated, or you are just going through the motions. 

Let me put this into the context of our company. We lease, manage, and build buildings where commerce takes place. We advise clients on their use of capital or the next location for their company. Each and every day we have the ability to facilitate and impact a very broad base of our economy. If we treat those needs as sacred, as a part of a bigger plan, which I believe they are, then the communities (remember our broad definition here, where we live, our work environments, the customers we work with) will flourish, our world will get better. Let’s get even more detailed.

Our tenants

When someone is uncomfortable with the temperature in their space, they become unproductive. Just ask Scott Renaud, he will tell you that he can’t work when my office is too cold. The faster and more thoughtful we can respond the faster those customers get back to their purpose, their business operates more efficiently. Can we respond in a way that takes a difficult situation and turns it into a positive? 

Our clients

Accurate and timely reports to our clients lead to accurate and timely reports to their clients and so on. We create an environment where clients grow in their trust of us, they can move faster in their efforts. Many of these clients are dealing with billions of dollars in asset values and those assets are often the aggregate investments of individuals and family retirement incomes. Think about how the wheels grind to a halt when we make a mistake in our efforts here. But, also think about how you interact with those clients, don’t you treat others well when someone treats you well?

Companies we work with

Leasing agents and construction managers literally create new homes for hundreds of enterprises. We create environments where new business relationships and new businesses are formed. The more thoughtful we are in these efforts, the more we improve the world around us.

Our retail owners and tenants

Our retail teams create settings where people enjoy spending time, often with their families. Environments where a huge part of our economy takes place, the better we do, the more problems we solve for retailers, the better the customer experience and the more successful the enterprise. Our economy improves and families flourish.

Buildings we develop

We often take unsightly buildings or distressed assets and turn them into economic engines for communities. We have the opportunity and responsibility to literally change the physical landscape of our communities for the better.

Buildings we manage

How we manage our buildings, do we see and take care of the little things? Do our buildings stand out in the community? An attractive place to work absolutely changes attitudes and businesses are impacted.

The communities we live in

We have time and capital to give to other important organizations in our community, to care and help those in need around us. Don’t pray for a family to have food when you have plenty to eat, let’s give them some of our food, our talent, our capital.

I am not unaware or naïve to the “yes buts” in all of this. What about when the customer doesn’t appreciate my effort or I have tried really hard at this thing but can’t get traction? Maybe you don’t full agree with my logic, let’s discuss it then. I am convinced we will only come away better if we openly discuss, wrestle with doubts and ultimately conclude “why” we do what we do. Don’t you want your entire day to have meaning, to have purpose?

Let me try and put a finer point to this. What we really are talking about are people interacting with people. Relationships in the context of business and the impact of business on the world. Yes, there have and will be terrible abuses of power in the context of business success. However, when a business truly treats the needs of others (customers, communities, associates) as if those needs are the most important, fantastic things happen. Capitalism, at it’s best, the building of enterprises across the world, has done more to eradicate poverty, lift families out of difficult situations, feed the hungry and cure sickness than any other force in history. It makes sense that honest, thoughtful, successful companies are a part of a plan and you have a purpose in that plan. Within our enterprise healthcare is provided, children are able to attend college, families are cared for and prosper. The more successful we are, the more profitable we are, the deeper the impact, that is our responsibility.

There is a ripple effect to everything we do, economically, personally, and spiritually. I believe that every little thing and every big thing we do counts….or none of it counts. Maybe you can see a little bit clearer how we can change the world, the world we can see and touch for starters. We can talk about the rest of the marble later. Let’s get right with what we have been given right now.

A postscript thought: We are in the market for folks that want to have an impact, who believe they are game changers. Maybe the company you are at doesn’t think what you think is important. Maybe, leadership doesn’t see the world the way you do. If you crave leading an integrated life, one that has purpose, if you want to be a part of an organization which will wrestle with the big questions while building an exciting, competitive and thriving enterprise, give me a call. Love to talk to you about it, we might not be a good fit but who knows, maybe you are meant to be here…

PS. Thanks @karasmckinney

Posted by;

Paul Ellis,

Group President, CNL Commercial Real Estate

CNL Commercial Real Estate is comprised of passionate individuals that love what they do. While our blog will primarily be directed towards our internal team, we hope that it gives those that we care about most, our customers, associates, partners and friends a look inside our culture and will give everyone a better understanding why we do what we do.