Purpose is everything
Individuals that authentically lead with purpose are changing the nature of business todayChris Walker
MUCH LIKE WHAT a foundation is to a house, a conductor is to an orchestra, and a canvas is to an artist’s masterpiece—a clear purpose is everything to an individual’s career. It is an individual’s soul and identity, providing both a platform to build upon and a mirror to reflect their existence in the world. It articulates why an individual exists, what problems they are here to solve, and who they want to be to each human they touch through their work. While it’s not the first time in history individuals are pondering why they exist and who they are to their clients, the current trend based on our research shows that leaders can use purpose to create deeper connections with consumers, do more for the communities with which they work, attract and retain talent, and in the process, are achieving greater results and impact.
as the brand reciprocally aligns with who they are and who they want to be.
In a recent consumer poll, Deloitte asked respondents to share what they cared most about while making decisions about brands (see
Our findings revealed that many consumers today make decisions based on how brands treat their people, how they treat the environment, and how they support the communities in which they operate. When companies align their purpose with doing good, they can build deeper connections with their stakeholders and, in turn, amplify the company’s relevance in their stakeholders’ lives. Increasingly, businesses are harnessing the power and opportunity of aligning their purposes with societal good. In Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen’s Success personified report, leaders ranked societal impact as the number one way they measure annual performance—more than financial performance or customer and employee satisfaction.4
In the following section, we discuss and demonstrate the significance of purpose-led leadership…
Ultimately, business’ don’t really exist. People who run them do… therefore, when we speak about a brand or business having integrity, purpose, vision, or marketability, we are really talking about the people who represent those aspects of a business.
A stock broking firm can be bought to its knees by the behaviour of just one individual, a bank can be corrupted by the actions of one person. We recognise that individuals carry huge power in organisations and that purpose is a way to help make that power function in a collaborative way. The key here is that purpose is not a personal matter.
Purpose is a reason greater than self. A purpose greater than self is the language we must embrace for purpose to be a leadership and brand building quality. It’s where the individual and feelings, emotions and self-consciousness stop and reason for doing, motive, becomes for the greater good rather than self-gratification and self-satisfaction.
LEADING WITH PURPOSE
How the company treats the environment depends on how an individual sees the link between their remuneration (reward) and their sense of purpose in life. If there is no connection then creating a brand around a significant public scrutiny of environmental care might be more challenging than we think.
Purpose-driven companies witness higher market share gains and grow on average three times faster than their competitors, all the while achieving higher employee and customer satisfaction. Today’s consumers often identify with a brand’s purpose, seeking to connect at a deeper level even
Purpose is everything
UNPACKING PURPOSE FOR BUSINESS
In today’s world, purpose is paramount. The more people talk about purpose, the more it runs the risk of becoming just another self help or corporate motivational buzzword. But in its truest form, purpose is different from the rest. How? Purpose answers an all-important question, “Why do we, and our company exist?”—and the answer can serve as the beacon for all personal and organisational decision-making.
Our Business’ must own, declare and be authentic to their purpose. In recent studies of consumer behaviour findings revealed that many consumers today make decisions based on how brands treat their people, how they treat the environment, and how they support the communities in which they operate. When companies align their purpose with doing good, they can build deeper connections with their stakeholders and, in turn, amplify the company’s relevance in their stakeholders’ lives. Increasingly, businesses are harnessing the power and opportunity of aligning their purposes with societal good. In Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen’s Success personified report, leaders ranked societal impact as the number one way they measure annual performance—more than financial performance or customer and employee satisfaction.
FINDING A PURPOSE GREATER THAN YOU (SELF)
Leaders need to differentiate themselves. This is vital in the market of the old school of generic, MBA and experience in years being the qualification that differentiated a C-Suite leader. Purpose is a core differentiator. Purpose- oriented leaders achieve higher productivity and growth rates, along with a more satisfied workforces who will stay longer with them. Research shows that such individual leaders achieve 30 percent higher levels of innovation and 40 percent higher levels of workforce retention than those who use old school motivational strategies for people development. While traditional trends might dominate purchasing behaviour, new opportunities exist to connect with customers and staff through purpose.
Purpose-driven leaders generate higher market share gains and grow on average three times faster than their competitors, all the while achieving higher employee and customer satisfaction. Today’s consumers often identify with a brand’s purpose, seeking to connect at a deeper level even as the brand reciprocally aligns with who they are and who they want to be.
1. Authenticity is paramount
The origin of purpose and its overlap with corporate social responsibility (CSR) can make colleagues and partners wary of a business leaders motives when they declare they have a purpose greater than themselves for coming to work. While a company’s purpose doesn’t have to directly impact society as a whole, authenticity is paramount, and it’s even more important at an individual level.
Therefore, we advise clients to keep their purpose to themselves and rather than use it as a part of their social identity, reveal their purpose through their choices and actions. Kindness might be easy to say, as a purpose, however, it’s action is better observed and felt than announced in a resume that puts up radar and alarm bells.
Discussing this with many clients revealed that more than 80 percent of leaders would be willing to be paid less if the business they were working for aligned with their personal authenticity in purpose. To what degree this is true if the survey turned to reality is unknown but there is a significant awareness in this that it’s going to cost a company a lot more to retain a disgruntled individual who is not aligned with company purpose than one who is.
Thus, when a leader leads with purpose— authentically—they can achieve a “trusted status” with its team, workforce, and partners, opening up new connections while increasing their personal sense of “alignment” with their work.
2. Walk the walk.
Authentic purpose-driven leaders “walk the walk” by being transparent and accountable for everything they do. With incredible transparency and data at their fingertips, people today seemingly think they know everything about the motive and intent of a leader, even if they have to make it up.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world.Pattanjali
Uncertainty today is at a peak and never before has personal leadership purpose been more important for sustainable success. We live in revolutionary times and our lives are being altered in ways we cannot predict. Every major institution is being transformed. Our most deeply held values are in dispute and the nature of personal relationships is changing drastically. Our capacity to live healthy and useful lives, to work
productively with one another, and to pass on a decent world to our children, is in our hands. It’s a big burden and we all want to help with it.
As a result, anyone who wants to generate meaningful responses to the
events of the times must find purpose. Our purpose is unique to us as an individual but helps us collaborate with others for a deep commitment to living consciously.
The lifeforce of organisational change is personal change, and the people who are finding purpose greater than themselves in order to live productively in this new age can create extraordinary results.
3. Put all humans at the heart of your decisions.
Leaders on purpose are moved by an expansive vision. They are fascinated by life and driven to experience it fully. They respond well to change although they do not necessarily like it. They think clearly when information is uncertain and belief structures are impaired. They see
connections between a fast moving world and their vision, and they have open and receptive state of mind that is not paralysed by information they had not expected. They have mastered the art of working with people and are able to communicate honestly, pursue compelling vision and engage with integrity.
4. Achieving meaningful growth
In a world overflowing with options, many leaders authentically leading with purpose are discovering new opportunities to deliver value to their teams and the communities in which they operate. By leading with purpose, being authentic in how they tell stories and articulate their impact, focusing on all humans, and imbibing empathy, many of these leaders are outpacing their competitors and leaving an impact on everyone they touch.
Like to know more… find your purpose? Good, you can do it in a coaching session by contacting me here….