It is relatively easy to imagine, to envision a desired future or state of ourselves, our organization, or even society. We have an idea of “what could be”.
However, it is harder to “enmission”, to put to life and action how our strengths and talents can serve others. To dedicate ourselves to “what ought to be” and perform good actions for goodness’ sake.
It requires a sober understanding of our past tendencies and weaknesses and a realistic yet optimistic view of our limitless potential. It is a balance of humility and hope; unafraid to act but mindful (and heartful) of the relevant context.
I always ask my students, “What are your strengths? What is your key skill?” And oftentimes, they struggle to answer concretely. They talk about passion, but passion is ultimately fickle.
Enmissioning requires a person to understand one’s talents and a certain “goodness” that one yearns to manifest. And that journey is iterative. I dabbled frustratingly in social entrepreneurship, nonprofit work, e-commerce, consumer goods, market research, and consultancy anchored on my skill to write, insight, and learn. These numerous past experiments led me to the academe, and so far, I feel that my mission is to be here. I feel that my writing and insighting skills are always challenged while also being an enabler for others to flourish.
In an uncertain context, overemphasizing long-term visions might not be practical anymore – to envision. It might be more worthwhile to “enmission”, that is, to constantly reflect on one’s strengths and purpose and find spaces where one can translate potential into action.
Maybe, teaching students to “enmission” is the next step for management education that is truly humanistic and sustainability-oriented.
Luke 10:1-12, 17-20. The mission and the return of the seventy-two
[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 184: JULY 3, 2022]