How Innovators Can Create Meaning At Work And In The World, with April Shprintz, Ep #55
38 min

Innovators are not the people we typically think of when we imagine those who create meaning and purpose in the workplace. Innovators are the ones on the edge, the ones coming up with great ideas and solutions to real-world problems, the ones pioneering discoveries and technologies that advance or disrupt entire industries. But the best innovators are the ones who not only create meaning but who have a deeper sense of purpose and human good in mind from the start.

My guest on this episode is April Shprintz, a high-energy woman who comes alongside those who are already moving in the direction of their dreams but desire to reach them faster. She specializes in accelerating the growth of those dreams and help people realize how possible it is to achieve their goals and surpass their limits. In this conversation, we talk about how April discovered her gifts as an “accelerator” and what that’s meant for the development of her career. Then we turn a corner to discuss how those who are gifted as innovators can focus their energies beyond iterating within their area of expertise, to provide deep meaning and purpose for those who are on the journey with them.

People who express belief in others, create meaning for them

We all have defining moments, experiences that show us who we are and what we are capable of becoming. But it’s only as we embrace the truths those moments have to teach us that we can move in a new direction and accomplish the things we were meant to do. Often, we are unable to recognize those truths about ourselves for ourselves, we need others to point them out for us.

When April was 9 years old, the company her mother worked for gave her the option to enter an alcohol treatment program. It was a turning point in April’s life because of a woman she met during that time of great transition. That woman was named Sue, and she worked at her mother’s workplace. Sue came to their home, met April, and spoke words of hope into April’s life. April says that up to that point, she had always wanted to do great things but had no reason to believe she’d ever be able to do so. The words that Sue spoke created meaning for April to see and hang onto.

Who are the people who have spoken into your life, who have given you hope and belief in yourself? Take the time to remember those moments, to touch the emotions you felt at that moment. Can you see the truth of what they said to you? How is what that person said reflected in your life today? Are there ways you can amplify it even more to fulfill the meaning and purpose of your life in greater ways?

Innovators can create meaning through the cutting-edge work they do

“An innovator is someone who is looking to do things in a better way. They’re that person who never thinks they’ve reached the pinnacle of who they can be, what they can give, what their service level can be for their customers. They are always asking, ‘How can we be better? What can we do more of?’ “ ~ April Shprintz

Given that definition of innovation, let’s think for a moment about how those who innovate in their particular niche or industry have the opportunity to create meaning for themselves and those around them. Innovation and creativity flow out of a place of personal purpose. When innovators can recognize that and become aware of the deeper meaning and purpose of what their work is about, they can be even more intentional about magnifying the meaning in what they are doing.

This sort of meaning-fueled intentionality is going to spill over on everyone involved in the project. They will recognize that the work they are doing is about more than the new technology or business approach they are pioneering. It’s about the benefits to real people who the innovation will touch.

Innovators specialize in the kind of change needed to make work meaningful 

Perhaps the primary thing that makes innovators able to do what they do is the mindset they have about life. The average person sees something that doesn’t suit them or doesn’t please them and complains. Innovators experience the same things and wonder, “How can I change this to make it better?” When we apply that mindset to the task of making work more meaningful, it seems obvious that innovators can be of great help.

What might it look like to pull together the innovators within your workplace to take a deeper look at the level and quality of the work relationships within your organization? Are there ways they can see—that perhaps others have not—that can create a better environment for cultivating mutually meaningful work relationships?

Every leader and every business is in the business of serving

Once you realize that your business exists to serve the needs and wants of your customers, you will begin to see that you have the opportunity to create meaning and purpose for your customers both through what you provide them and in the WAY you provide it. But that last part doesn’t happen by default. Team morale and business culture are what fuel it. If your team is not experiencing meaning in what they do, they won’t have the capacity to communicate meaning to your customers.

Leaders, creating mutually meaningful work engagements has far-reaching impact. You have it within your power to create meaning for your team, day after day, year after year through this thing we call “work.” But beyond that, you’re able to empower those team members to create meaning for those you serve through your business—and it all hinges on leadership. Your leadership.

April shares many valuable insights on this episode, including her thoughts on how organizational philanthropy sets the stage for leaders or organizations to infuse even more meaning into what they do, so don’t miss it.

Outline of This Episode
  • [2:53] How April discovered that she was a “business accelerator” - at 6 years of age
  • [6:25] An experience as a 9-year old that defined much of who April is
  • [12:40] Aprils’ definition of an “Innovator”
  • [13:30] How innovators create meaning in what they do
  • [20:42] The limiting beliefs that hold innovators back most
  • [23:08] How business grow stronger by giving back in meaningful ways
  • [28:05] April’s three-part acceleration profile
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