Why Purpose Matters

Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150Every business wants to be distinctive.  But often, small and mid-size companies are so consumed with surviving that the limited time invested in planning centers on leveraging competitive advantage, without appreciating the reason the business exists, beyond the need to make money. With this approach, the leaders of these businesses lose vital energy to drive action, elevate performance and achieve goals.

Rediscovering Purpose motivates employee engagement and releases vital energy that drives action, elevates performance and achieves goals.

The true Purpose of your business may have been articulated by your founders – at that time, it endured as the core of your organization.  Perhaps your Purpose remains visible and relevant in describing the difference your business seeks to make in your world right now.  If this is the case, you are fortunate because the pace of business today tends to elevate reaction rather than Purpose-driven proaction, constraining performance improvement.

As a key leader for your business, planning for the future is your responsibility.  If you don’t do it, who will?  But most of your employees are concentrating on meeting today’s challenges.  When you start to plan, begin by recalling Purpose.  Reminding your people about it provides continuity between their current work and the future you envision.

Your personnel want more than “just doing the job” – they want to understand how their work contributes to the success of your business. Getting more engaged in fulfilling your Purpose, once they are reminded what it is, unlocks reservoirs of energy and inspiration making their work more satisfying.  They want to make a difference and gain recognition for doing so.  If you had the chance, and would make the same money, would you rather work in a company where you are recognized for your contributions or in one that doesn’t care who you are?

Rediscovering your Purpose unifies and energizes, enabling your organization to transcend individual parochial concerns of “what’s in it for me” by aligning employees around a common objective greater than the immediate, narrowly defined self-interest of any individual.  Study after study describes how this approach motivates leaders to make better, faster, often bolder, decisions. Sales increase as the organization is synchronized to meet the tangible and intangible needs of customers. Companies grow faster than competitors by expanding their market share, often creating new markets as they go. Spending priorities become clearer as money is invested where it clearly makes a difference in improving profitability through Purpose fulfillment rather than for profit enhancement alone.

During one trip to Cape Canaveral, President Kennedy saw a maintenance person cleaning up a mess in the hallway. When the President asked him if he enjoyed working at the Cape, the man replied:  “Whatever I can do to help us get to the moon sooner, I’m going to do it!”  Purpose matters.

 Why does your business exist and why is that important?

How could rediscovering your Purpose release the energy in your organization?

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