Curt Fowler | Fowler & Company | Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey
Your why is the reason your organization exists. It is your purpose, your reason for being beyond making money. Remember, your organization first exists to meet a human need. The better you meet the needs of your customers, the more customers you will attract.
If you meet your customers needs really well, they will be what I call “raving fan” customers. Those customers are the least price sensitive and will be your most profitable. They also provide you with lots of free advertising by sending their friends and family to your door!
Whether you are non-profit or for-profit, people pay for value. The more value you create the more resources you attract.
Every organization has a higher purpose because every organization exists to meet a human need. Sure, any organization can butcher its purpose by seeking to manipulate their clients to get every dime they can out of them. But, we live in a transparent world today. Very few organizations can succeed over the long term without a culture that seeks to serve first.
Why should you spend precious organizational time and resources on something as soft and fuzzy as purpose? I’m glad you asked! Here are three great reasons your organization must find and live out its purpose.
Creates Clarity – Organizations move at the speed of trust. Organizational clarity creates a framework for behavior. It helps us know what to expect from our co-workers and leaders. When we get what we expect out of people we work with, trust develops. Your purpose is the reason your organization exists. Purpose tells you what would be missing from the world if your organization ceased to exist. Your vision exists to fulfill your organization’s purpose. Knowing why your organization exists and where it is going in service of your why are huge steps towardcreating organizational clarity.
Consider Zappos’ purpose statement – “To Deliver Happiness.” If you worked at Zappos, could you use the purpose statement to decide what actions to take? Yes! If the action you are about to take does not “deliver happiness” don’t do it.
Attracts the Right People – Deep down, we all want to make a positive difference in the world. We want to leave this place at least a little better than we found it. Yes, we must be sure we make enough money for food and shelter, but after our basics are covered, we all start to seek a higher purpose.
Your organization’s purpose will attract people with a servant’s heart. The people you want to attract know they need to make a living, but they also want to make a life that matters. You can offer these future servant leaders the opportunity to make a living while making a difference. The ability to make a living while serving a greater purpose will attract the best people to your company.
Inspires and Motivates – Great leaders inspire. Inspired people are motivated. Inspired people work for a purpose. Inspired people give discretionary effort. Uninspired people work for a paycheck. They give only what they must at work. If you want your people to give their best, give them something bigger to work for.
Show them how their work is making a positive impact on the world. Your people won’t have towait until the weekend to be altruistic, to make a difference. They see the need the organization is meeting in the world and that gives meaning to their work and their lives.
Purpose matters and purpose works at work. Next week we’ll show you how to find the greater purpose your business serves.
Have a business growth topic you’d like me to cover? Send suggestions to email@example.com.
Curt Fowler is President of Fowler & Company and Director at Fowler, Holley, Rambo & Stalvey . He is dedicated to helping leaders create and achieve a compelling vision for their organization. He is a syndicated business writer, keynote speaker and has an MBA in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the Kellogg School. He is also a CPA and a pretty good guy as defined by his wife and four children.