Knowing your purpose gives roots to whatever you are growing. The deeper the roots, the higher your creations can grow safely. If you want your leaves to shade you and your fruits to grow, take care of the roots. Purpose is your answer to "why" you do anything that you do. It is the final situation that has no deeper reason than simply existing. It is a reflection of paradise as you see it.
If purpose is pure and noble it yields immense passion and inspiration. Then money and everything else follow naturally. Being driven by purpose, not profit, gives you sails so you can switch off your motors. This is true regenerative sustainability.
He who has a why to live can bear any how.
The organization's purpose addresses the big question: Why? Why does an organization exist? Why does it do what it does? To clarify, purpose is NOT what an organization does … who it helps … or what it changes.
Organizational purpose is the final state that the organization wants to see in the world. The fastest way to recognize organizational purpose is to answer the question:
What do you think is missing in the world?
(What does the world need most?)
Purpose is present in every cell of an organization. When looking at the purpose from the organization’s perspective, many layers can be seen: the purpose of the whole organization, the purpose of a certain project, the purpose of a specific event that occurs, and the purpose of an explicit action.
A grand, noble purpose is usually not achieved just by one organization alone. Its sheer size calls for a collaborative, not a competitive, approach. Many organizations with the same purpose inspiring them benefit from each other’s progress.
Purpose can also evolve as time passes. As the organization grows or matures, there might be new aspirations and possibilities. It makes sense to adjust the purpose accordingly.
The organizational purpose is not comparable to profit, making the heated argument between purpose OR profit obsolete: it’s possible to have both, purpose AND profit.
The vast majority of leaders might disagree, saying that the driving purpose of an organization is profit if it’s a for-profit organization. While profit might be one of the goals and vital conditions for survival, amassing wealth is definitely not the strongest driving purpose. When profit is the purpose of an organization, not much inspiration and passion can arise from it. When leaders put purpose before profit this simply means that their teams, themselves included, are driven by purpose first, and profit follows naturally.
Purpose is the star that guides one’s path.
Knowing both the purpose of an organization and the personal purpose of each individual working in each team doesn’t mean that they are connected yet. When people can’t see and feel the connection themselves, leaders need to step in.
Inspiring their teams with organizational purpose is one of the crucial roles of leaders. In principle, inspiring team members means helping each one evolve in the direction, closer to their personal purpose. This translates to practical decisions on what kind of responsibility a leader delegates to each person based on the nature of a given task. Only inspired people are creative, successful, fulfilled and efficient in their role.
It is the responsibility of every employee to individually find their own motivation for showing up, doing what needs to be done, and performing at their best. Unmotivated employees essentially don’t want to work, although they might try to mask this by making up problems and excuses. They latch onto the leader’s “carrot or stick” like a small child depends on its mother to feed it, even when the child doesn’t want to eat.
When a leader stops tolerating unmotivated attitudes, only self-motivated employees remain. These high-performers, regardless of their seniority level, identify value-adding work in areas where they can enjoy themselves, express their passion, and thus be unexpectedly creative and solution-oriented.
Starting with purpose when defining mission and vision helps to bring the big-picture power into the ground-level decisions about steering your organization.
Any purpose could lead to multiple missions. One can consider a mission as a master plan that represents a well-thought-out, functional and tangible piece of one’s high-level strategy.
The mission clearly states how one’s organization will reach its purpose in order to attract like-minded people, both as clients and as partners. If an organization’s purpose starts with “We help …," this is more likely the mission.
Vision is the desired future in a particular area. It is a picture of what the future may hold. Vision is having a clear picture of desired accomplishments. Vision should be specific, clearly articulated and detailed, and it should elucidate direction and purpose.
Customize, scale and even evolve organizational culture like writing code with values to ensure your people speak the same unspoken language.