I was talking to a friend recently when the subject of purpose came up. This was purpose as in “what is the reason that you are here”? They identified their purpose as being to provide for their household; and as CEO of a successfully family-run SME, providing the means for others to support their families.
This seemed quite symmetrical to me. In satisfying their primary personal purpose (i.e. providing for their household) they were motivated to also pursue a professional purpose (i.e. running a successful business).
With respect to professional purpose, numerous studies confirm that employees self-report as being both happier with their work and more productive if they identify with the vision and goals of their team/company. Identifying with these things, when coupled with a feeling that they are making a valuable contribution towards group goals, they are afforded a sense of purpose. They are aware that they are a part of something that is bigger than themselves.
What are they trying to achieve, individually and collectively? Is it a sales target? New business win? Project delivered on time? Striving to be the best manufacturer of thing-a-me-jigs? It really doesn’t matter as long as it has meaning to the individuals involved.
Professionally, the past 6 months have seen me introduced to a number of people who share a similar set of values and goals. Joining forces with a few of them, we are working together with the common purpose of building a viable business.
Personally, I find my self spending time working on becoming a better:
- runner (super important; less than 8 months to the 10th Atacama Crossing!)
These are always in flux, as short-term goals and milestones are achieved, accompanied by rebalancing as life dictates.
What about you? Do you know what your purpose is?