Top 5 Steps to Create Meaning and Purpose at Your Company
Guest blog by Pamela Hawley, UniversalGiving
âDonât ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.â
This is very true.
Often I hear people say, âOh, I wish I did something meaningful like you do, helping the world.â Working in philanthropy is a wonderful way to serve. But social workers, teachers or philanthropists donât corner the market on meaning. If you want to create meaning and a core purpose at your company, here are the top five inspiring â and practical â steps.
1. Start with you
Your company cannot have a core purpose if you donât know your own. Itâs that simple.
Follow what your deepest inner voice tells you â not what society says. Not the âI must be an investment banker; I should be a consultant.â Â And definitely not âI will do something good for the world, and then go âget a real job.ââ
You are created for a purpose. Your company has to see that purpose in you. Itâs not just a product, but all your drive, passion and energy at the forefront, every day.
2. Define the values and activities around your purpose
What is it you most value?
Pick the one value and one service, and start there. Â Donât make it complicated. We are not talking about an Executive Summary.
Whether you are starting out or have been in business for 10 years, this is a superb exercise. Start with your passion, or get back to your passion.
If this is difficult, take some time.
Retreat centers, walks on the beach and sitting in a forest simplify your thinking. Take nothing but a pad and paper to write down what inspires you, both in a) how you take action and b) what type of service. Donât think, just let it pour forth naturally, whether it is an essay or a few inspired words.
A) How you take action/What is natural to you
- Mobilizing people
- Closing deals
- Bringing consensus
- Exploring new frontiers
- Building sure and steady
- Creating a boutique firm
- Excellence in client serviceâ¦
There is no limit.
B) Types of service.
Here are a few examples that may fit your situation:
- Service and a beauty salon
- Technology and apps that make people efficient
- Health and organic foods
- Eco-friendly and better composting techniques
- Efficiency and a better search engine
- Purer dry cleaning services
- Marketing/promoting others
If you canât do this, your team canât work to their potential.
They canât see your focus or drive. Â They will be B players; and you are not a B player.
Take the time to solidify your A-player status. Sometimes we get off track, and now you can get back on.
3. Build (or rebuild) a practical, inspiring business
So, what does this look like? It depends on your interests and passions. Here are a few examples:
Create a haven.
It may be that you have a passion and talent for interior design. Help make peopleâs homes special. We all need a haven: a place to welcome others, and ourselves. Â Build a company around that.
Inspire confidence with your numbers.
Perhaps you love numbers.
Provide order to your clientsâ finances. Â What would I do without my bank? Where would I put, record, manage the deposits of donations for UniversalGiving? We need a trustworthy expert. Â Let it be you.
Mobilize People Through Sports. Â
You are an athlete at heart.
If you are a player, play that game with integrity and enthusiasm, with the greatest sportsmanship. You will be a model for everyone watching, your colleagues, the audience, the referees and any children present.
If you are a coach, your guidance and words can impact hundreds of people â and for their entire lifetime.
If you run a sports shop, you can sell the best equipment. Â Search diligently to find the products that will help people succeed.
4. Create a core purpose statement
Use an inspiring verb or adjective and clear action. Here are a few examples:
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â âWe sell the top soccer balls, with enthusiasm for the sport.â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â âWe create life-changing apps that save you time.â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â âWe are calm anchors with our cloud service, ensuring your data is safe andÂ secure.â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â âWe create the most professional dry cleaning, making you feel like the President.â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â âWe protect your company as you face cyber-terrorism in your backyard and abroad.â
Put it up on your wall with your values. Talk about it and reference it in meetings. Â Itâs more verbal, casual and easy than a mission and vision statement.
Live it. Speak it. Use it in conversations: with your team, with clients and to yourself when you wake up every day.
It should roll off your tongue, and soon everyone will speak about it naturally.
5. Go back to yourself
Your company has a core purpose because you do. Â Serve by following your passion. Donât do what you think you should do â do what you are created to do. Â
You will find all types of people needing your inspiration and services, in ways youâve never imagined.