It all starts with purpose and passion!
A few days ago we went to a Rod Stewart concert. My wife and I have been fans as long as we can remember. In short, the concert was incredible, Rod Stewart was amazing. Besides enjoying his music along with everybody else in the audience– many of them knew every word of his songs and sang along– I was amazed by the energy and passion he projects. He is 72 years old and you can tell he just loves being on stage.
That’s when I started thinking to myself, what if everybody in the business world would bring the same level of passion, energy, and love for what they are doing? What if I could and wanted to do that, even at the age of 72 with millions in my bank account? He sure doesn’t do it for the money. So what drives him? Why is he on stage, why do I go to work? Of course I want to make a living. However more importantly I need to love what I do! What’s Rod Stewart’s purpose? Now I have to guess. His purpose on stage is not to make money but rather to share the love for his music with the audience and bring joy into their lives!
What’s your purpose?
I shared mine a few months ago. In case you are curious, feel free to check it out.
Do you have passion?
Do you really love what you do or just happen to be good at it? Are you engaged? Does your day fly by? According to Gallup around 70% of the workforce is disengaged. If you, as the leader, are not engaged, your team surely won’t be either!
Ask yourself these questions. Do you love your company and the product you represent? Are you passionate about both? If not, perhaps it’s time for a change!
What’s your financial purpose?
You might think – oh that’s an easy one. Make money, profit, shareholder value. Yes but why? Why would the employee care, why would you care? Why do we need to make money? To stay in business? Think about it. What’s the money we are making doing for us? For instance, if you are an innovative company you make money to be able to invest into your ideas and attract the best talent in the market. You’ll be at the forefront of innovation. Everybody gets to work on really cool products! Does everybody in your organization understand why making money is important?
When it comes to millennials, purpose will be especially important. In average a millennial stays 1.2 to 2 years in the job. Long term they are not staying for the ping pong tables or the colorful painted walls. They are looking for freedom in the workplace and even more to do meaningful work. If you can get the purpose right you are a big step closer to successful talent retention!
Another important element of purpose is lifestyle and work-life integration. As you figure out your purpose in business, finding your purpose in life is equally important. Unless you want to end up with a bunch of divorced employees and especially leaders, supporting everybody to get the purpose right in both areas and allowing them to integrate life into work and work into life as they see fit will go a long way.
Now that you’ve built your foundation. You can start thinking about your strategy. Your culture, your leadership, and your purpose will give you the competitive advantage you need to execute your strategy better than anybody else can! Furthermore, nobody else will be able to copy what you are doing. It’s easy to copy intellectual property or even a business model. Copying your culture is a lot harder and takes a lot longer. That’s why you need to start there!
Start with purpose and passion.Understand the service you are providing, the value you are adding, the market opportunity, and get the lifestyle right. Now you are ready to build your strategy!
Want to learn more about purpose and strategy? Here is a link to a great podcast: The strategy of purpose.