Every business has a reason for being. What your business is and what it stands for is as important to your company as the products or services you sell. Creating a powerful purpose sets the foundation for your success.
Defining what lives at the heart of your business, or your purpose for being in business is your why. It is the fundamental belief that drives actions. When we work from our purpose, we are coming from a place bigger than our product, service, or profit simply because what we are selling has meaning and value.
It is in this value that we find our purpose, our why. Simply working towards a goal does not bring value to the effort! It is working with purpose and from an inspired place that we can attract and unite inspired team members, customers, and partners.
Discover your Powerful Purpose
Having a mission for the future is powerful, however, it’s even more powerful when you know why you are doing what you are doing. Your purpose is the motivation that moves you toward your mission. It means being driven not by what you create, or how you create, but by why you create.
Identifying your purpose (why) takes determination, which involves taking a reflective look at your business to ask yourself:
- What matters to me most?
- What is that one thing I keep coming back to?
- What would be lost if this organization ceased to exist?
- Why are we important to the people we serve?
- Why would anyone dedicate their precious time, energy, and passion to work here?
Answering these questions, will bring you one step closer to discovering your powerful purpose, your why.
Things move fast in the business world, so fast that sometimes we forget to take a moment to look at our business and evaluate where we are and where we aim to go.
But never taking that moment could cause a business to operate in a continuous loop, making repeated mistakes, and working blind to the changes necessary to maintain a high-performance culture without even knowing it.
Working from your WHY endows every decision you make with a purpose. If you understand why you are working towards a goal, then you make deliberate choices and always have a reference point to measure your movement.
Why is this important?
It is with your purpose that you create a solid foundation for your goals and it is these goals that grow your business, cultivate teamwork, and provide a clear idea of where your company is headed.
Goals should be set with an authentic purpose in mind. While money may be the result of reaching your goal, a money-driven goal does not serve a purpose, only an outcome. Let’s look at some purposeful considerations for achieving goals.
A Deliberate Endeavor
Here are some guidelines to help you establish, monitor, and achieve your goals:
- Specificity – Your specific goal.
- Measurability – How you measure your progress towards your goal.
- Achievability – What you gain by achieving your goal.
- Relevance – What achieving goal will mean for your business.
- Timeliness – What the timeframe is for achieving goals.
- Exciting/Energizing – What about this excites you or what about this bring you energy.
- Relevant – How is this relevant to our clients, our team and our community.
Do you have defined goals? If not, here is a free tool to help you get started today!
Communicating Your Purpose
A part of identifying your purpose is sharing your purpose with others, and the best way to do that is to put it in writing.
Your purpose statement serves to encapsulate your why and your mission in one brief, all-inclusive sentence. A powerful purpose statement should be simple, clear, actionable, and focused on how you contribute to others.
Before you get started, let’s look at an example of a successful statement.
Your Powerful Purpose Statement
Your powerful purpose statement includes your company’s contribution and your impact.
This is a great format to follow:
“To (contribution), so that (impact).”
The final draft might look something like this:
“To engage and inspire people, so that people are motivated to do something creative every day.”
Take your time with this. Write several until you get it right. Clearly articulating your purpose is helpful for others to understand your why, and it is helpful for you to see it in writing. The goal is to foster an emotional connection between the company and people: customers, employees, stakeholders, community members.
A purpose statement tells people what ignites your passion and inspires you to be the best you can be. Here are an example of simple, powerful purpose statement from Zappos, an online retailer recognized for its workplace culture and focus on customer service.
“Delivering happiness to customers, employees, and vendors.”
Maintaining Your Purpose
Keeping your purpose alive and at the center of your company and the decisions you make is a daily practice.
Your purpose should be embedded in every aspect of your company as it is how you talk about your company, is your mission statement, and is represented in how you hire and collaborate with team members. Your purpose is your daily dose of inspiration. Consider it to be your reminder to stay motivated and on track with your mission.
Let’s look at some ways to keep your purpose at the center.
Stay Close to Your Purpose
Being engaged in the daily performance of your company means staying close to the driving force of your business.
Whether you decide to answer phones in Customer Service or sit in on a design meeting, your presence not only keeps you in direct contact with your purpose, but it also allows you to work alongside the people that make your why possible. That level of engagement adds value by making you a direct player in the overall goal.
Do you make a habit of engaging at every level?
Every member of your team (from executive level to entry-level) should be able to clearly and comfortably talk about your company purpose and mission. (Bonus points if your team can proudly recite it from memory!)
A major driver of your success is due is to the people you choose to hire to achieve it. Give them a sense of purpose for the work that they are doing by being clear and upfront about your goals.
Putting the Purpose in the Team
It is a team that executes on your company’s vision and creates the company culture based on your purpose. It is highly encouraged to maintain strong company culture and performance by offering the following to your employees:
- Clear mission
- Collaborative atmosphere
- Learning environment
- Clarity around expectations and results
A strong company culture is created when team members have a purpose and a goal for the work that they perform.
Making Your Purpose Beyond Powerful
Running your company from your purpose means striving to make the environment within your company a great, inspiring place to work, and you should also endeavor to make the community outside of your company a better place to live.
Creating a brand comes with the responsibility of making an impact at the team and customer level, but your brand can also serve a greater purpose by taking sustainability measures or focusing on a community-based cause.
Giving back to the community, or the world at large, shows your dedication to your purpose, and it goes above and beyond in setting your company apart from the rest.
Not sure how to accomplish this? Here are some ways to find your community purpose…
Start your search for a community cause with the following ideas to get you inspired:
- Align with a cause. Find a cause that aligns with your purpose.
- Partner with a related cause. Look for a cause that connects in some way with your product. An example would be a company manufacturing glass water bottles getting involved with plastic recycling or plastic clean-up in the ocean.
- Get team members involved. Consider setting up a program that allows team members paid time off to get involved in community efforts.
- Volunteer as a team-building opportunity. Build a stronger team while serving your community!
- Educate. Make it your mission to educate the community on a cause close to your purpose.
Celebrate Your Milestones
It is important to celebrate your successes.
Celebrating milestones is a great way to stay on track with your goals. It is also a way to acknowledge your team for the value that they add and to recognize the work that they do to fulfill your company goals.
Here are some fun ideas for celebrating:
- Offer small bonuses
- Have a company BBQ
- Create a special award for high performing departments
- Hold an all-company “town hall” meeting to commend your team on their success
Don’t forget to celebrate yourself, too.
We’d love to hear from you and have you share your company’s purpose statement below. … Thank you for sharing!