Picture this scenario: Three people were crushing rocks side by side on a construction job. When they were asked, “What is your job?” the first person answered, “My job is to do what I am told for eight hours a day so I can get a check.” The second person replied, “My job is to crush rocks.” The third person said, “My job is to build a cathedral.”
Which of these three people do you think would be the happiest, most productive and go the extra mile? No doubt the third person, who understood his job was far greater than just crushing rocks. He understood he was contributing to a purpose greater than his own efforts.
All of us are in search of a clear and driving purpose for our lives; we want to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. The world of work offers a great opportunity for people to connect with a purpose. The reality is that people care less about working for a company and much more about working for a compelling cause.
Without a purpose, your people are just putting in time. Their minds might be engaged, but their hearts will not be. A team without a purpose is a team without passion. Your team members may achieve short-term results, but they won’t have the heart to go the distance.
A purpose is your team’s bridge to a brighter tomorrow…and you have to build it! It is not a project goal, financial target or strategic plan. A compelling purpose is a reason to be excited about getting up and going to work every day.
A purpose can come in all varieties – perhaps it is to help others, to make the world a better place, to innovate or inspire others to excel . For example, Disney’s purpose is “to make dreams come true.” Coke worked diligently to develop its purpose: to put a Coke within reach of every person on Earth.
Be bold. Step back and look at the big picture. Think of how your team improves conditions for others. Your purpose should answer the question, “What difference are we making?” Are we forming and shaping world changers? It should stir the heart… not just the mind. It should draw out the purpose of the individual, that aligns her or himself with the bigger vision.
Great leaders don’t depend on chance, they lead on purpose.
BH/Lee Colan – Adapted