It is the story of someone trying to press beyond the boredom of day to day life and find something to give him a passion for living. In the movie,there is a scene where Walter recites the purpose statement of Life Magazine, something he ultimately decides to follow:
“To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.”
I have found that life is better when you identify and live out your personal purpose. This is especially true when you can live that out through your work. Most of us spend the majority of our lives going to or from work, being at work, or thinking about work. If you can find a way to live out your personal purpose in life through your work, each day becomes an opportunity to live with passion and intentionality.
Do you know your personal purpose in life? If you are the leader of your company, family, or team, you have the opportunity to live out your personal purpose and let others join you in the journey. Our team at Katerra has followed the passion and purpose to have “Success with Significance” in serving the needs of the multifamily renovations market. This phrase means we want to be the best we can so we can change and impact lives through all we do. It’s a rally cry for excellence that keeps us focused on developing our team and processes to deliver great products and services to our customers.
Purpose Leads To Better Results
People who know and live out their personal purpose at work are more engaged, caring, dedicated, productive, and focused. They are driven by something more than paycheck or a job title.
We see this evident in the non-profits we work closely with, like the Ring of Hope Boxing Club or Living for Zachary. People give of their time, money and their hearts for FREE, to serve and support these charities. WHY? Because they believe in the stated purpose of these charities. Compare this with the employees at your company. Do you struggle to get employees just to show up on time and work together? What would it be like if your employees had the same passion for your company that you do? What if working at your company created the same level of excitement as working for the charity of their choice? What if you used your purpose to create a vision and mission for your company that included caring for your employees as much as you do your customers, your reputation, and your profits?
Does Your Team Understand Your Purpose?
There is real power in having a purpose your team can believe in. If your purpose is not clear to your team, they can struggle to find a way to live out their own purpose at work.
Having a clear understanding of what drives us each day allows our team to think more creatively, stay focused, and stay engaged when things hit overload. Talk with and listen to your team so they understand the purpose that lies beneath the rules, strategies, and activities of your company.
During your company meetings, share examples of how this purpose is being lived out with excellence so people understand it and stay connected to the dream. You need to remind and explain your purpose often so your team really understands it. Of course, validating your purpose starts by you living it out at the top and reinforcing it all the way down the line.
Does Your Team Model Your Purpose?
Your team is watching the example you set. Make sure that everyone is clear about your purpose so they can pass these on to others they lead. Take time to verify that your message is getting all the way down to the last person on the team, and that your actions do not contradict the words you are posting on your walls.
Share your plans, dreams, and ideas with the leadership team each month and allow others to question your direction and message. An unbiased view of leadership can help you refine your message and actions before you take it to the rest of your team.
Do Your Customers Experience Your Purpose ?
Don’t assume your purpose is being seen by others. Ask them. Talk with your customers, ask your suppliers, read what the market is saying about you, and see if they are seeing it the same way you hoped they would. It’s the difference between what you want your brand and reputation to be versus how the market perceives it. Don’t assume everyone is receiving your purpose the same way you think you are presenting it because your message can be confused and changed along the way like some horrible version of the telephone game.
This can be done with annual surveys and monitoring social media, but I prefer face-to-face with our customers to really know what they see. We have customers across the country, and it requires we stay in constant contact to know that we are not missing the mark. Our account managers represent our purpose to the market, and they are the eyes and ears that keep us connected to our clients.
Take time this week to write out your purpose in life and share this with your team. Ask them what they think their purpose is and find ways to help them live this out at work. If you do, you will find that your work will transform as you live your personal purpose, and your teams will be excited to join you.