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I came across this great article by Judy Neuman at HEASLEY&PARTNERS.com
She talks about the link between a higher purpose and business success. Enjoy:
In the workplace, it’s feeling like you can’t wait to get to work in the morning to start your day and make a difference. It’s feeling like you want to work harder, contribute more, and challenge yourself to become a better you because it matters.
My father was a high school industrial arts teacher for 32 years. He went into teaching to share his knowledge of craftsmanship. He was a man who took great pride in creating something by hand, and he believed teaching a trade that students could use throughout their entire lives was a noble mission. He didn’t become a teacher to make a lot of money, gain status or feed his ego. My dad went to work every day with a higher purpose and a responsibility to teach and inspire young people and change their lives forever. In his life, he accomplished his mission.
Everyone talks about living a purpose-driven life, but what about a purpose-driven career? Everyone has gifts, something they do well, something they are really good at—such as art, writing, programming, public speaking, people skills—the list goes on and on. Once you identify the gift in yourself, how does that translate into a career that allows you to do what you love and love what your do? Into a business that brings out the best in you and your employees?
Now, I know some of you might be asking, “Is a workplace like that possible? Aren’t these exceptions?”
To that I answer, “Yes, it is possible and it should be the rule!” A work environment that inspires employees to want to do more, to contribute to a greater good, pushing them beyond their own limits—where work isn’t just a job, it becomes your life’s work—something we all should experience. Life is too short to have it any other way.
After 25 years of working in a variety of companies, I finally found one where I can fully use my gifts to contribute and add value with purpose. It’s a work environment that lends itself to inspiring people and letting them soar beyond their own abilities. I’m happy to say, at last I have found my place and a company that not only inspires me to a higher purpose, but it teaches other companies to achieve the same kind of power and the same level of success.
At HEASLEY&PARTNERS, we practice what we preach. We work with companies to help build their brands; and one of the ways we do that is by creating work environments that inspire people to want to do more, where employees like to come and work every day and are moved by a higher purpose. Unless your brand is happening inside your building it can’t happen outside it. When you have employees who are inspired, they work harder, stay longer and you know what…they sell more stuff. Your company becomes more successful. Here through the work we do, I’ve realized the secret to creating a strong brand, a strong company, and to making life a whole lot easier.
Does your company inspire you to a higher purpose? As a business owner or leader, what are you doing to instil higher purpose in your business?
The Crisis of Meaning in the Millennial Workforce
What’s the Big Idea?
For all the talk of trailblazing, the most successful businesses of the 20th century made it to the top by maintaining an edge in the same singular pursuit: maximizing shareholder value.
The dominant mode of thinking at the time was, “Keep your eye on the prize” – profit, of course – at all costs, whether that meant to the environment, to other companies, to some employees who saw their wages drop even as they became more productive. Forget that profit is your raison d’être, and you risked being perceived as self-indulgent, wishy-washy, irrelevant. What’s the matter with this picture?
Shareholder value maximization theory leads to a disconnect between companies and customers, resulting in a lot of action with little purpose, says Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management. What’s more, it’s boring – especially for employees. Be honest. Have you ever actually been motivated to serve someone you’ve never met?
Millenials, the first truly “21st century workers,” are here to call our collective bluff. The generation that has been simultaneously lauded for its civic engagement and derided for unabashed (and usually undeferential) idealism is bound to shake up the way we do business, according to Martin, who articulates the 20-something perspective like this:
Let me get this straight. I’m supposed to come to work with you and work every day with the singular goal of maximizing the value for faceless, nameless people who could blow us off in a nanosecond if they had a bad hair day. Am I right?
He believes the answer is truthfully, yes.
What’s the Significance?
Like a precocious adolescent, the business community has landed smack dab in the middle of its first real existential crisis. The global nature of both capital flow and financial lock-downs in the 21st century – as well as an increasing sense of the urgency and scale of issues like global warming – has caused some business leaders to question old assumptions about value which now seem decidedly stale. (For instance, can it really be measured in dollars alone, with everything else counted as an externality?)
Gen Y is entering the scene just in time to offer fresh answers. “If you want to make better products in an environmentally-responsible way that makes consumers’ lives better? That I could get excited about,” says Martin, paraphrasing his theoretical Millenial worker. Indeed, study after study has found that a primary concern for young workers is finding jobs that are meaningful, even at the expense of receiving a high salary.
It’s almost a cliché – to attract forward-thinking talent and start speaking directly to customers again, businesses of all kinds, from the smallest startup to the largest corporation, must do as the churches and schools and non-profits do: inspire people with their mission.
And as modern businesses search for a soul, who better than Millenials to help find one? These ambitious idealists may not have invented vision, but they seem to be particularly good at getting companies to start taking the word seriously.
You got to have a dream,
If you don’t have a dream,
How you gonna have a dream come true?
What were some of your childhood dreams? Were you a movie star, a rock singer, a major league footballer, pro golfer, astronaut? Whatever it was, I’m sure it was something big. You didn’t dream about being a filing clerk in a government department, did you? Your dreams weren’t mundane, boring, repetitive and depressing. They were exciting, inspiring and action-filled, weren’t they? And they occupied a lot of your imaginative play time, no doubt.
Viola Davis, 46, and her husband, actor Julian Tennon, announced that they have adopted a newborn baby girl named Genesis. This is the first child for the couple. (Tennon has two children from previous relationships.) Viola’s comments, made at Starz’s 15th annual Hollywood Film Awards Gala in Los Angeles:
“It’s giving me purpose,” said a beaming Davis. “After a while, your life cannot be about hair and make-up and what film you’re doing next. It’s got to be about something bigger and larger. Especially when half your life is already gone and you look back at what are you leaving behind. For me, it’s a child. That truly is the key.”
If you are concerned with trying to find your purpose in life, you may be wondering how to know for sure when you have found it.
There may be a number of strengths and passions you have, and you could choose to follow any one of them. Your values may indicate a particular direction as being of primary importance to you. There are so many opportunities out there. How do you really know what is the right path to take? How do you know that THIS is it?
Creativity is both a way to discover your higher purpose and an expression of your existing connection to your higher purpose. Creativity is vital for success in every part of life. If you’re feeling stuck or uninspired, here are some ways to kick start your creative genius. Continue reading
But don’t think of creativity as just art, music or dance. Creativity is broadly defined as:
the ability to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.
While I don’t like to focus on the negative (because you get what you focus on) if we want to move a fallen tree on our pathway we do usually have to look at it in order to chop it up and move it aside.
You will know if you are experiencing resistance. While on a conscious level you know, believe and affirm one thing, the physical manifestation in your life will be something else. Have you for example tried the “law of attraction” and come to the conclusion that it just doesn’t work for you? Do you think that there must be some hidden secret, some extra piece of knowledge that is missing, and that if you could just discover what it is then everything would fall into place? Or have you decided that while it works for everyone else it will not work for you – because you are not worthy?
However the full range of emotions exists for a reason. Imagine if you were driving a car that had no warning lights to let you know that your oil was dangerously low, your radiator overheating or the battery running out of charge? These are small items that can be easily fixed but left unattended they turn into major repair jobs.
Emotions are like the indicator lights on our car dashboard. They give us a clue as to what is going on internally. It is always a good idea to acknowledge our emotions – if we try to push them down they have a nasty habit of popping up (vastly magnified) at very inconvenient times. Tuning into your emotions is the smart thing to do.