Vince Lombardi once said “Success demands singleness of purpose.” As he is considered to be one of the best and most successful football coaches in pro football history, he was likely talking from his own experience.
When we talk about purpose, we are not talking about mission or vision statements. Mission statements describe the type of business you’re in and possibly define your audience. Vision statements are about where your company wants to be in the future.
Purpose is the beneficial something more that a company delivers that adds significant value to whatever it sells, and includes the core values and beliefs that are the unchanging principles, ideas and philosophies that guide your decisions. They are what you stand for as a company.
They serve to create a particular culture and environment within a company and include things like belief in diversity, fair and equal treatment of employees, a commitment to honesty and integrity, ensuring a safe and supportive work environment, contributing to your local community and the like. These basic principles don’t change with market trends or pricing fluctuations.
Are you unsure about your business’s purpose? Most likely, you have a general concept of what purpose means, but have never thought about it in these terms before. By answering the questions below, you can gain a clearer idea of what your purpose is and how it fits into what your business does.
- What do you love?
- What activities do you most enjoy?
- What does the world need?
- What do you do that adds value to the world?
- What do you do really well?
- What are your talents and skills?
- What would the world pay for it?
- What do you do that others value and want, and how much do they want it?
Purpose begins with the leadership of the organization. In the excellent article From Purpose to Impact, authors Nick Craig and Scott A. Snook focus on the importance of sound purpose in the stewardship of an organization. (Harvard Business Review, May 2014).
Living and working from your purpose daily can be transformative for your company. Your brand’s purpose should be implemented throughout your organization and explained to every member of your team.
To determine where your company currently stands on Purpose, take the Brand Traffic Control Assessment.