For What Purpose – Jacob Morgan is a 4-time best-selling author, futurist and keynote speaker on leadership, employee experience and the future of work.
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For What Purpose
Companies used to believe that all they needed to do to attract and retain top talent was to offer good money and pay. Now it is clear that the workers are not only interested in making money. They want to feel a sense of purpose and purpose in their work, and are often willing to take a pay cut to get it. We often see these two terms thrown together and used interchangeably, but what do they really mean and how can leaders and organizations create purpose and meaning for their employees?
Author’s Purpose Assessment Worksheet
I interviewed over 140 CEOs from around the world. When I asked them about future leaders, one of the most common answers was to provide purpose and clarity. These are not just “work problems” but important aspects of our lives as human beings,
Your work is what you do, and your purpose is the purpose of your work. Your goal produces an effect or result that then determines the meaning or why you are doing what you are doing. Purpose and meaning are two different but very important parts of the equation.
Be realistic about what you do, whether you’re writing code, solving customer service problems, or selling. Everyone usually knows their job, that’s what they were hired for.
This is one level deeper than work. For example, you write code to create a product that makes it easier for customers to want to use it. You sell so that you can generate more revenue for the business, which in turn helps it grow and invest in new opportunities. It is the bridge between the work you do and the impact it has on clients, employees, or the world at large. Unfortunately, many employees struggle with their goals because we have created organizations that focus on tasks, projects, busy work, and things that keep our heads down. As a result, many workers around the world cannot and do not have access to this basic class. Product engineers rarely talk to customers or listen to their stories. The sales professional who does the deal doesn’t know what will happen to the money they bring in, they just know that they need to bring in more of it because of their job.
Noun Phrases: Definition, Purpose, And Use
It actually happens because of your intention. In other words, the goal of your customer service is to solve all problems, keep customers coming back online, and hopefully make their lives better and easier. But are these the real effects you have? Your goal is about potential, but the impact is real. You want your impact to be greater than or equal to your goals, but never less. As with the referral department, many employees are unaware of the impact they have. But leaders tend to have strong goals and definitions as they move away from task- or project-based work and focus more on the big picture.
This is something unique and personal to each of us. It’s about why we do something and how we feel about it. If you write, you can get meaning from solving problems or complex problems, if you work in sales, you can get meaning from building relationships, if you work in customer service, you can get meaning from helping people.
The balance of power has shifted to employees, and organizations are now focusing more on the employee experience and creating an environment where employees want to express themselves at work. Leaders and organizations can no longer think of themselves as making money or making profits. They cannot be alone; they should aim for something bigger and better.
Goals and definitions are not reserved for the privileged few. We all deserve to understand the impact of the work we do, and we all need to look forward to understand who we are and why we do the work we do.
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I will leave you with these words from the late Bernard Tyson, former CEO of Kaiser Permanente (a healthcare company with over 300,000 employees), who passed away in 2019, a few months after I had the opportunity to speak with him. During our conversation, he made a thought-provoking remark.
“The companies of the future can no longer think that they can only exist… the great companies of the future cannot exist in this little bread box, this isolated place. We are part of a big family, and the big family is part of us. The vision of the future and how we engage with larger societal issues will continue to shape the future of governance.
Leadership is changing. What skills and ideas do you need to know to navigate the new world of work? According to more than 140 of the world’s top leaders, leaders must master 4 mindsets and 5 skills. Find out who they are and get a better understanding of these leaders by downloading the PDF below.
2. Pick up a copy of the Future Leader endorsed by executives from MasterCard, Best Buy, Oracle, Audi, Unilever, Domino’s Pizza, Ritz Carlton, Kaiser and Marshall Goldsmith. It examines the skills and critical thinking of future leaders.
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3. If you are or want to be an entrepreneur, my wife and I started a new podcast about being your own boss called the BYOB podcast where we share what we’ve done and how we did it. You can sign up for that here.
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