Friday 23 August 2019

Sustaining shared-view in seven areas of significance - part three - purpose

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

This is the third in a series of seven about arguably the most powerful philosophy that I work with my clients on. I call it shared-view.

In the workplace to be remarkable we need a shared-view in what I call seven areas of significance:  reality, possibility, purpose, strategy, execution, progress, and culture.

Today we're exploring purpose.

Here's the Reality post and podcast.

Here's the Possibility post and podcast.

I’ll be referencing throughout this series a short paper that I published recently about shared-view which you can download here. There's also a designated page at my website where there's short videos on each of the seven.


Most people are pushing to grow their organisations.  Social media is a great example where it seems everyone and their dog is pushing their products/services.

Pulling is simpler and more attractive.  And nothing pulls like purpose particularly if you are pulling in a clearly defined niche or niches.

A lot of people still think that profit is the reason for being in business.

In the 21st century having profit as the reason for the existence of your organisation is a recipe for going broke.  And it is a sure sign of pushing.

Profit is not a reason for being in business, never has been.  Profit is a result of being good at business.

When I made this statement to a group of CEO’s in 1992 there was laughter in the room.  No thinking person is laughing any more.

Are you confusing reason with result?

And are you pushing or pulling?

Making a profit is one measure of being successful.  There is nothing evil about profit.  If profit is your reason though it drives you and confuses your customers/clients. As Simon Sinek exclaimed in a great book Start With Why “people don’t buy what we do they buy why we do it.”

Why do you do what you do?  What is your reason?

Reason is another word for purpose.  There is power and pull in purpose.  It draws people like a magnet to us.

Randy Gage’s great book 'Risky is the new safe' is on my recommended reading list.  Randy refers to a leading expert in the field of purpose Ian Percy Ian is a great man whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and hearing speak. Ian says “You can’t have peak performance without first having a peak purpose.”

What is your peak purpose for doing what you do?

There’s two actions I recommend to zero in on your purpose or the purpose of your business

Randy proposes three great questions to help us find our true purpose.

“What do I love?
What makes me cry?
What is the injustice I want to right?”

What would be your answers to these questions?

The second action I recommend is to use a technique known as the ‘five whys’. 

Start by answering the question What do we do? Then ask Why? several times.

In a great book ‘Scaling Up’, Verne Harnish and the folk at Gazelles suggest “keep asking until you get to your version of “saving the world” and then back up one step.”

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

FYI very recent happenings:

"For more than two decades, the influential Business Roundtable has explicitly put shareholders first. In an atmosphere of widening economic inequality and deepening distrust of business, the powerful group has redefined its mission."
article by Alan Murray

Excellent response to the above by Bob Chapman, CEO and Chairman, Barry-Wehmiller an co-author of one of my favourite 'Everybody Matters.'

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