I was rambling a bit on my Facebook business page on the topic of purpose. http://www.facebook.com/executivelifecoach.
I struggle helping a team or leader until I know what’s important to them. I can’t focus my attention until I have a strong “why” for what they are doing. It can’t just be for the money or selling more widgets. I mean, it can be but can you say “booorrring.”
If making money and selling more stuff is why a business exists then decisions are made easy – just do what sells more stuff and makes more money.
The problem is that most employees – the ones that make things happen, that interface with the customer and get stuff done – live on pretty fixed incomes. They don’t make a bunch of money if the company sells more widgets or the company makes more money.
Find out what motivates the folks that get stuff done and you have a strong or even great company.
Leaders who struggle with what their company’s purpose is or if it’s even important to have more than a “we exist to serve our customers and employees and be the best blah, blah, blah” purpose statement, often lack one themselves. They are often in business to get something for themselves and yet either they really don’t know that this is what they are trying to get (the deeper hunger or need) or they get the joke – the joke being that you will never get what you really want from your business.
Teams and organizations struggle with alignment when the leader has interwoven her own hidden or shadow agenda with the company’s stated purpose.
Get your own purpose straight and collaborate with your team and key stakeholders on creating or identifying your company’s purpose and you’ll have a context for making decisions and something to get you and your team out of bed in the morning besides fear.