January 20, 2019

What’s Worth Doing?

Let’s cut to the chase: We’re working on a new project that helps people figure out what work is worth doing, and we’d love you to come along for the ride. How about it?

Have a few more minutes? Here’s the longer story.

Over the past few years, my colleagues and I have had countless conversations with friends and former students. These conversations, over coffee, beer, or — when Chicago weather is behaving — a walk, often turn to talk about transitions.

Transitions between school and the workplace. Between one job and the next (the average American today will have no fewer than 12 jobs over the course of their life). Between one career and the next. Between one important project to the next important project.

We all need a North Star, something we can set our compass to that guides us through our next steps. This is especially true in times of transition.

After having many of these conversations, my team and I started developing a simple visual, which we’d scribble on the napkins that accompanied those coffees and beers:

Leap Circles

In these conversations, we’d ask:

  • What kinds of challenges do you want to work on? What issues in the world excite or frustrate you?
  • How do you like to work? What activities do you enjoy? What do you like to make?
  • What kinds of people do you want to be around and work alongside?

We found that this simple visual is incredibly helpful in framing the most important considerations. It led people to identify unique opportunities that exist in the overlap of all three circles—AKA, their North Star.

Transitions. Are. Daunting.

That’s a fact. But we’re trying to make them a wee bit easier. In 2016, a leap year, we built the Leap Kit, a tool that anyone, anywhere can use to design a project that helps them bring their ideas to life, explore questions and curiosities, and reconnect with pursuits that bring them joy.

Since then, people have used the kit to navigate transitions by testing out potential new business ideas, creating portfolio pieces that help them secure the next job, and building skills to grow their career.

What’s worth doing?

Now, we know it’s only January...but we’re already looking ahead to 2020. It’s another Leap Year, and we’ve got an idea we want to bring to life in T-minus 11 months: A simple deck of cards to help you navigate transitions by designing small, meaningful projects that allow you to learn, grow, and change your world for the better.

You can play it solo, with friends, colleagues, or students. Once you figure out what you want to do, we’ll provide some additional support to help bring your idea to life.

Leap Deck

How is this different from things we’ve created in the past?

Our Leap Kit is the full process to take you from idea to end-of-leap. And though this deck can still lead to a similar goal, it's really meant to compliment the Kit. We wanted to create a quick-start exercise to spark conversation — something you can pull out over coffee with a colleague, a working lunch, a short class session, or even while traveling.

I'm interested! What's next?

We're building a community of friends who are interested in this idea. Want to stay in the loop through occasional updates on the progress we’re making on the deck? Great! Would you be up for sharing some feedback along the way, or testing the tool with your friends or students? Hooray! Take a minute to fill out the interest form (I promise it’s super short), and we’ll reach back out shortly with more information.

It’s going to be an exciting year. We hope you’ll come along for the ride!

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