Karin’s Leadership Articles

Ray had a long list of things that were wrong with his job. Most of us do. The most important work is never easy and sacrifice can sting.

But as I listened, I was struck by the stark contrast between what was wrong and the deep loyalty to stay that went way past trappings of salary or benefits.  So I shared that observation and asked the obvious question:

What do you like most about your job?

My initial question was met with a nervous laugh, a pause, and then…”lots of things.” Then more silence. We let it steep.

A few hours later I got an unsolicited email from him entitled, “A Random List of Things I Like About My Job.”

Some of the items on his list included:

  • All the good people
  • Meaningful and interesting work
  • A company you feel good about telling others about
  • Good people despite the craziness that can induce belly laughs
  • and concluded… “Did I mention all the good people?”

I couldn’t help but thinking how much happier the world would be if we each sat down to make such a list.

Which got me thinking about our LGL Community.

What Do You Like Most About Your Job?

“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” –Willie Nelson

So this Friday, may I suggest an LGL teambuilder?

What if we each picked the top three things we liked about our job and placed them in the comments? In fact, share with your team and your friends, and lets see how many comments we can collect. Then, I’ll create a word cloud and a content analysis of the themes that emerge.

Game on. Even if you’ve never commented before today is your day. Do it!

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. Danielle Elizabeth Aaronson

    What a great post! Thanks for sharing this exercise Karin. There is so much I love about my job, but let me attempt to distill it into three for you:

    1. Synergistic approach to the positive impact we want to make.
    2. Constant dedication and conversation around self development.
    3. Meaningful work.

    Also, I love the quote you used around positive verse negative thoughts. I will be using that!

    Can’t wait to see the other comments,
    Danielle Elizabeth Aaronson

    • Karin Hurt

      Oh, This is going to be fun! Danielle, Thanks so much for weighing in. Your list is inspiring!

  2. Steve Borek

    I have a program for career transition. The common denominator of all my clients is they pick a new direction aligned with who they want to become vs. what job they want.

    That’s the secret to career happiness.

    • Karin Hurt

      Steve, I’m a big believer in that approach. Thanks so much. I sense that you live that as well.

  3. Joy Guthrie

    Seeing the lightbulbs go off when people understand. Much of what we do is teaching people how to share their understanding or vision with someone else. When the lightbulbs go off, it’s just magic.

    • Karin Hurt

      Joy, that’s a great feeling. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Bill Gessert

    For me, #1 is the people I work with. They have terrific attitudes and the work hard to utilize the skills they have to advance the mission of our company. #2 would be that I feel like my role in the organization is well suited to my skills. I am doing something I am good at…and I like it. #3 is the fact that I am included in the strategic planning of the organization. I am a part of setting the direction of the business and implementing our strategies. GREAT QUESTION KARIN!

    • Karin Hurt

      Bill, just awesome. Thank you!

  5. Cindy

    What I love about my new job.

    Freedom to be creative with ways to accomplish complex tasks.

    Learning so many different skills.

    Being treated as an adult in a healthy team atmosphere.

    I have many more but those are the 3 that come to my mind first.

    • Karin Hurt

      Cindy, So great to hear that your new job is going so well. I’m really happy for you!

  6. Lowell Sunderland

    I’m a retired newspaper editor, but yours is an interesting question. So, my list, off the top of my head:

    I loved the craft of what I did, which I mastered relatively early, but now, even in volunteer work these days, I continue to hone and build on those same fundamentals. I met too many people who hung in there at jobs they said they hated, but I’ve always felt blessed that I found work that I liked, in high school, in fact, and became good at, despite some bosses who muddied things at times. Pursue what you like; don’t ever just settle for a paycheck. And, find work that, by whatever definition, helps others.

    I like competence, learning from it and, later, as a manager and supervisor, teaching and requiring it.

    I like having responsibility delegated to me, assuming in a corporate setting the desired mission was well defined. I liked delegating responsibility and watching challenged staff members rise to success. Never got old. You see it all the time in every field: pick good people, teach them well, assign clear duties, get out of the way and let the energy and talent flow. Read Ben Bradlee’s obit and tributes, as only the latest of many successful people who say the same thing.

    I like reward for performance, whether cash, promotions, a sincere “thanks”, or a public pat on the back. I hate ass-kissers who don’t work on competence in their jobs but schmooze every boss they see while angling to get ahead. Good bosses don’t fall for it, but way too many do.

    And I like to work in an environment with colleagues who stimulate one another, be it with energy, talent, humor, support, willingness to collaborate, expertise and enough insight to always work toward the coomon good and the common goal.

    That’s enough, but this should be an interesting list you build. //

    • Karin Hurt

      Lowell, so awesome to have you join the conversation with such important insights.Doing work that you love and making a difference… ahhh….

  7. bill holston

    well, that’s a great question. One unique way I know the answer to this, is they are the things I did as a volunteer before I was paid for them:
    1. Identifying and mentoring young people for human rights work
    2. Working with the clients and
    3. Advocacy: writing and speaking about human rights for immigrants.

    great exercise. Sorry, I’ve been awol here, but so so busy with the Central American children. I still read though.

    • Karin Hurt

      Bill, Indeed. The fact that you would do the work for free is a sure sign. 😉

  8. Lisa K

    What I like most about my work (3 things)

    I am part of a team with kindred, satisfying goals
    I am part of a team that believes in and cherishes the organization we work for
    I have the freedom, support and trust to innovate and fail

    • Karin Hurt

      Lisa, So beautiful. Thank you.

  9. Larry Coppenrath

    Believing that leadership is “defining reality, enabling people, everything else”
    Sharing knowledge, skill, and Experience in visual chunks
    Making room in my life for those in our community less fortunate.
    Receiving feedback from someone who was impacted by what you shared

    • Karin Hurt

      Larry, Such a beautiful list. Thank you!

  10. Ter

    Great question Karin and love reading all the comments!

    What I love about my job is making a difference in people’s work lives. When I leave a workshop and a participant comes up to me to say that I have helped them I feel full inside.

    Thanks for this great dialogue!

    • Karin Hurt

      Terri, Thanks so much. I’m having a blast with the comments too. i look forward to pulling all the themes together.

  11. Rick Foreman

    Hard to do for only 3 things. I get to support and help every other team member improve our processes on a daily basis. Living out my mentor, John Maxwell’s, definition of leadership, which is influence on a daily basis. Adding value to others; how does it get better than that?

    1. Respect for people
    2. Empowered to make a difference
    3. Authentic focus on continuous improvement from top to bottom.

    • Karin Hurt


      Just excellent. Adding value. Love it. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Jane

    1. The process of creating and freedom to be creative

    2. The Culture that resembles a family

    3. Special assignments that are challenging, have a specific due date, but I am able to approach the project in my own way as long as I complete it successfully.

    • Karin Hurt

      Jane, Thanks so much. Great ones!

  13. Karin Hurt

    Some great ones also coming in on Facebook.

    Ann Assisting clients with projects that reduce their impact on the environment. Helping my staff to focus on the job and the outcome rather than on company politics.

    Paige I love that (1) my job is deeply relational; (2) the people I serve tell me my work makes a difference in their lives; and (3) the work makes a difference in my life because those same people challenge, encourage, inspire, and entertain me

    Jean 1) the spontaneous energy to get things done that surfaces when people focus on strengths – their own and each others 2) the (somewhat messy) relational process that intentionally involves making meaning together, and 3) the really great questions that challenge hearts and minds to open up to new possibilities.

    Chris Developing people, helping customers, moving obstacles out of the way so everyone be more productive.

    Stephanie Doing work that is important, with people I respect, and with people who respect me.

    Karen Making a difference to business owners/ high level executives, having the opportunity to do good work without much of the politics that goes along with staff positions, getting to know people with varied backgrounds/interests in the community.

    Tina I love the mission of my company. I also love the people I work with, they’re splendid. I like the actual work that I do too.

  14. Jonathan Nhovo

    1) My job allows me to use my creative skills
    2) I enjoy developing others and see them grow in their careers
    3) The challenges help me use my resilience and never quite attitude

    • Karin Hurt

      Jonathan, just awesome. Thank you.

  15. Vicki Briesr

    The thing I love most about my job is the awesome prople I work with! I can honestly say I have coworkers I would trust my life with.

    I also love being able to help others through knowledge sharing, collaboration, or just being another set of eyes on a situation.

    The third thing I love about my job is that I am able to get involved in many different opportunities in which I can utilize my strengths to meet company objectives.

  16. Syed Moiz

    I like the challenges that I overcome in my job.everyday job must help me to learn, unlearn and relearn new things.

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