Use Context to Transform Your Work to Full Self-Expression

CEO Work Portfolio Charles Pfeffer

As a CEO, managing your work portfolio starts with managing the context for your work. A context shapes whatever exists within it. For example, a meal in the context of a holiday is a celebration or a ritual. A meal is a hassle in the context of a short turnaround between flights. 

Here’s another example: 

Take some vegetables, chop them up, and toss them in a pile in the backyard.

What do you have?

Take the same chopped vegetables and throw them on the floor.

What do you have?

Same vegetables – put them in a wooden bowl on your table.

What do you have?

In each of these scenarios, the content is the same, but there is a different context, different experience, and different action.

What is the context for your work? If this is not a question you have asked yourself, you are not alone. More often than not, CEOs do not stop to ask themselves this question.

Many CEOs do not realize that they can take their work and define the context.

Framing executive work within the context of your life’s purpose or what drives you can transform work into full self-expression.

Arriving at what drives you or determining one’s life purpose is a journey of reflection and inquiry, often aided by a guide or coach. The questions one reflects upon in this sort of inquiry include:

  1. What are my values?
  2. What is truly important?
  3. What do I really want? 

In answering these questions, you can then answer a critical boundary-setting design question: How much time am I willing to spend working?

The flip side of this question is: How much time