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Defining Your Purpose: A Secret to Fast Growth


There are large and small stumbling blocks on your path to leading a fast and growing company. Those things that keep you up at night are often immediately tangible in terms of balance sheets, ROI, and competitive performance.

Beyond the measurable statistics, there is a key ingredient you may be overlooking to:

  • Be better at what you do.
  • Be a better leader.
  • Help your organization be a fast and successful growth machine.

6 Components of Your Purpose

That key ingredient? Purpose. To accomplish those qualities, you must define your purpose with care. Great companies that get everything done faster have a purpose built around doing well by doing good.

A purpose must be crafted carefully. Consider these 6 components to define your purpose:

  1. A purpose is bold. Is your goal to have the greatest customer service in the world? Are you committed to exceptional employee engagement scores?
  2. A purpose is not what you do but why do it. Who do you serve and why? Why is it important and why would others care?
  3. A purpose is the non-financial reason for existence. Are you determined to improve the lives of others?
  4. A purpose fixes an injustice. Is there a powerful way you can improve the communities around you or support a mission that helps people nationwide or globally?
  5. A purpose is not a goal but a journey. Your only goal should not be to hit a financial figure, because that’s when businesses do anything they need to do hit that number … and that’s how businesses gets in trouble. Yes, measure what’s important, but your purpose is ongoing despite obstacles.
  6. A purpose gives meaning to people’s lives. Look behind the what you do and recognize what’s possible because you do it better than anyone else.

Alignment of Needs

To investigate point 6 a bit deeper, realize that purpose is built upon needs; it’s a human condition. Look to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:

First people need food, clothing, and shelter. Once those needs are met, people want to belong to something bigger than themselves. Your purpose can help meet that need – it can become a purpose of their own. After finding that purpose, people want to feel great about what the do and live with self-esteem. Finally, people want to achieve all they can and fulfill their talents and potential. How does your purpose create an affinity with the purpose of your employees?

Not a Mission Statement

Your Purpose is not your Mission Statement. It should be more personal and passionate. To define your purpose:

  • It should be brief and memorable
  • It must evoke an emotional response
  • It should show deep conviction
  • You should hire only those who buy in and get rid of those who don’t buy in
  • You must talk about it and celebrate it constantly

In closing, to find your company’s authentic purpose, consider your non-negotiable core values and what kind of legacy you want to leave behind. Ask yourself if your answers transcend revenue. Will your purpose resonate throughout the organization? Are there emotions behind your statement? When you start feeling it and not thinking about it, that’s when you’re truly tapping into your purpose.

Source: Jason Jennings, Authority on Leadership, Growth, and Innovation, presented during SIA 2018’s Keynote, “The Need for Speed – How to Get Everything Done Faster.”

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