As a business leader, how do you define your purpose?
I have recently found myself pondering my professional purpose and very interested in the feedback from others. I am sure I am not the first to wonder, am I doing what I am supoosed to be doing professionally.
A purpose statement defines your vision, your mission, and your strategies. It is not a simple exercise; it needs much forethought and internal debate. Discussions with close associates are important. For leaders, purpose statements are necessary. It is a method of thinking that helps focus your mind and in turn your actions.
First I decided on my core values. Then I went through an exercise where I wrote my own personal mission statement. I implemented the mission statement in my life, and decided that i would devote my time and energy to things that served that mission.
My mission statement is to:
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Encourage the disappointed
Advocate for the Powerless
Support the Brokenhearted
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Hi Eric! I like your name so much, I had picked it out for my son many years before he was born.
I'll give a nod to Simon Sinek's "Start with Why" too. He also has a book which I finished recently. I got a lot out of it.
However, Chick-fil-A is a client of mine, and I think they introduced me to something that might help you even more than "Start with Why." You can't start with "why" until you know what it is. :) It will actually help you determine your "why." It's been said by many that the two greatest days in our lives are the day we're born and the day we figure out "why."
CFA introduced me to Marcus Buckingham. Check out the link below. I think you will find it very interesting. He uses the acronym SIGN. Where all of these things overlap, you will find your why. It goes much deeper than what's below and what's on the link. If you like it, you may want to buy the book or audio. Looks like it's free on the link? The content is STRONG.
SIGN: an acronym for Success, Instinct, Growth, and Needs.
Strong: strengths are activities that make you feel strong.
S – Success: strengths are where you feel successful.
I – Instinct: strengths are activities that you are naturally drawn to.
G – Growth: strengths are where you learn the most, come up with the most new ideas, and have the best insights.
N – Needs: strengths are where you feel the need to spend more time.
Another resource for you, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, also wrote another great book that many people aren't as familiar with, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. The habit is actually defined as "Find Your Voice (or "why" my word) and Inspire Others to Find Theirs."
Dr. Covey writes in The 8th Habit, "Voice (why) lies at the nexus of talent (your natural gifts and strengths), passion (those things that naturally energize, excite, motivate, and inspire you), need (including what the world needs enough to pay you for), and conscience (that still, small voice within that assures you of what is right and that prompts you to actually do it). When you engage in work that taps your talent and fuels your passion - that rises out of a great need in the world that you feel drawn by conscience to meet - therein lies your voice (why) your calling, your soul's code."
As I have followed my passion to find my purpose, I believe The 8th Habit defines my personal "why." When I read The 8th Habit, my first thought was, "Dr. Covey wrote this book for me!" That's why I'm up happily past midnight answering your question for free. And, I'll probably look for another when I'm finished here. :) I'm full of energy knowing that I may be potentially helping you move closer to finding your "why."
Often, people tell me they think I do what I do for the money. Once they're done, I happily inform that I do what I do 24/7/365 happily and far more often for free than for money.
Hope this helps you sir! I actually worked near Dallas (Terrell, but stayed in Rockwall) consulting for 3 years straight every other week from 2009-2012. I made the drive from Auburn, AL with my mountain bike for afternoon fun. Great food out there, but man does it get hot and dry.
Your comments or concerns are great. You are not the first. We all do it. I believe reflecting on your previous day/weeks accomplishment helps you become clear as to what your vision or direct you are going in.
As a business leader, I would like to get the maximum aptitude of the human resources available in the region and plan the economy accordingly so that there is less dependence on the import of human resources. Import of human resources whether legal or illegal migrants change the demography of the region and hence create a sociopolitical unrest.
My compliments on a wonderful question. Ironically, I have found that in many situations, a purpose motivates and creates a leader, and not the other way around. Many leaders rise to fill a purpose that others are either unwilling or unqualified to fill.
In my earlier blog post “What’s Your Personal Brand“, I wrote about how the 3 steps to defining your personal brand are similar to how many mega product brands define themselves. Put simply they are: 1) Purpose (your impact in the world), 2) Strengths (how you fulfill that purpose), 3) Character (your most deeply held values).
The very purpose of the business is to exist and grow. It is like any living organism. Hence as the business leader we need to understand our responsibilities towards all the stake holders. In this regard a leader has to understand short term and long term impacts on clients, partners, employees, the environment and society. Unfortunately this is not often appreciated. Business leaders also have the responsibility of grooming future leaders who will be more capable of taking responsibilities in a more demanding, everchanging and complex environment. Ultimate purpose is to create a great team and business takes care of itself.
I find everyone's responses very inspiring. It's so great to see entrepreneurs who love what they are doing (and are doing it for the right reasons).
For those who are not yet as clear about who they are or what they want to do, I'll share the process I use for finding my purpose.
I pull out a blank spiral bound notebook, turn to the first page, and start writing. I write whatever comes to mind. I do this for about 20 minutes daily for several weeks. It's amazing how much clarity comes from the simple act of putting your thoughts down on paper. Just one caveat. There's no editing! Write whatever comes to mind, and the next day write whatever comes to mind that day. I've found this to be the best habit for keeping myself focused and motivated as I go about my entrepreneurial work. Let us know what you discover about yourself!
I think, my answer for that question of how to define the true purpose of being a business leader is not just about how good you are, how far have you put or run your business. But it how your attitude in dealing each business challenge you may meet on your way. Being able to be sensitive to the feelings of your staff or employees. How you truly know them and how each of you in the company bonds more than the usual co-worker way of concern. As the more bond between you, just lie for example being like a family, can make your business soar higher and be stronger in any challenge you might have.
These are very common traits as the journey begins, but one thing to keep in mind is to keep the end state and start to work towards it, though many challenges come in the way. Staying focussed, self motivating and believing in yourself in achieving the goal is key. Goal and Purpose could be anything so long as your are passionate and knowledgeable about it and start to believe in it as the right targets.
Eric - powerful question.
Sounds like I'll be the 3rd person to tell you to watch Simon Sinek's TED Talk:
I couldn't tell you if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing...
I joined the army at 19. People join the army for many reasons... travel, adventure, education, a steady pay check with benefits... all of these are great reasons to join.
I joined the army with a much different purpose... because I was tired of getting picked on. And... if I was a paratrooper, no one would be able to pick on me... nor would anyone be able to pick on someone else - not on my watch anyway. My *purpose* for joining the military - the human problem I was trying to solve... bullying. My role as a soldier allowed me to help others to live a safer life... to live a life of their choosing...
Today, I'm a business coach. My purpose remains the same... I help business owners achieve the life they want to live. My tools, strategies, etc... help my clients avoid and battle the bullies in business - be they; employers, employees, venders, customers, etc...
Everyone on this thread knows WHAT they do and HOW they do it... but do they know why? A: to profit? Profit is a result. It's always a result.
Purpose: what do you believe. What do you stand for. What cause would you fight for? What human problem are your trying to solve?
Only you can answer... and if you need a little help gaining some clarity around that, read Simon Sinek's book, "Start With Why" Simon gives some very clear and tangible examples that will help you discover your purpose...
So far the are 39 answers in to this thread and most of - sorry - BUK... and I'll give you 19.4 million reasons why...
Simon's video: How Great Leaders Inspire Action has over;
• 16.4 million views on TED
• 3 million views on YouTube (Collectively)
I think Linda Coussement and Li Sings are bang on... Kevin Toney at least points you in Sinek's direction. The rest... sorry... close but no cigar.
If anyone is still reading my post... watch Simon's TED Talk before you get all up in my grill and defensive... ;-)
I aspire to inspire those who would dare to live a live that inspires them! - Vince Fowler
This is a question that you must do some searching within yourself. If you think and feel you are not where you need to be professionally, then it is time to take a sabbatical and regroup to find your purpose. Do not feel alone as many Entrepreneurs go to this place. Re-evaluate your skills, find your niche and do what makes you happy. If you are questioning that place - you are not happy. To do your highest and best good, you have to be in a good place to do it, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. I wish you blessings to find your path.
Hi Eric. I believe I can understand what you are going through. I'm sure you are good at what you do, I'm also sure that your path has changed many times and that, has you not satisfied in your career.
I believe many champions go through what you are going through. Champions want more our of life, but there's a price to pay to get it as we know. Deep down a champion's heart is the answer to where he will be satisfy in his career and life. A champion's path will take him/her in different directions, he/she will look back one day and say, "All those obstacles, companies I worked for , were part of my success TODAY". So Eric my encouragement to you is this.... 1- You are a Champion at heart 2- You want more out of life than others and the best part is this.... are you ready? .... Life is preparing you for what is ahead.
Keep at it , your path will take you to where you should be. Put family first , don't go on a self pity mode (poor me),face your problems with everything you have, keep away from the three Gs ,that make man fall ( Girls,Gain and Glory), life is a school ,is just making you stronger. It is your time.
A leader -- at any level of an organization -- has only two jobs:
1. Establish the goals for your people
2. Provide the resources (which includes your time to coach, mentor and help your folks attack their problems -- when those problems exceed their authority or ability. Do not take over their jobs -- the jobs are their jobs)
Define 3 realistic things you can achieve this year , what opportunities can you take advantage of ? what benchmarks must you achieve in order to succeed? what are the key professional challenges and obstacle you must overcome to succeed?
You should answer above questions based on your values , your strength, priorities and personal legacy
I read a book a few years ago called "The Gospel of Good Success" by Reverend Kirbyjon Caldwell. It states that success comes from where your passion is. It chronicled his life from Wall Street to the ministry. I still refer to that book because before I made the commitment in my heart to become a consultant, I was not sure what my purpose was in life. Once I connected, there was no turning back.
Sometimes books do not point your compass to true North. Follow your heart. And sometimes a consultant's message may not point you in the right direction.
Any organization or individual needs a vision. Without a destination, any road will get you there! Your vision is the future state destination you are aspiring to. It is your North Star or Guiding Light. Without it you really can't create your mission statement (road to get you to your destination) or business plan.