It’s widely accepted and acknowledged how important a sense of Purpose is to the success of a business.
A recent Korn Ferry Survey showed that companies, which ensure that their teams are focused on Purpose, achieve annual growth three times greater than the average rate for their industry. A sense of organisational purpose also increases engagement, with 90% of those surveyed claiming to feel engaged at work, compared with only 32% in companies where purpose was not a priority.
Businesses spend a huge amount of time strategising about brand values, promise, mission and vision, to ensure they have clear corporate objectives and a focussed direction. So why isn’t the same true of us personally, as individuals? How much time do you spend considering what values are really important to you? What’s your purpose or mission in life? How are you having the impact that you want and deserve to have in the world?
Surprisingly, many of us don’t have clear answers to these questions. The impact is significant. A lack of purpose results in short sightedness and a focus on short term gains. Achieving goals such as a promotion, pay increase or new car deliver some short term joy, but little prolonged happiness. The goalposts quickly move, the joy drains away and we find ourselves striving for the next target on the horizon.
Developing an understanding of life purpose can help counter this short-termism, providing us with the focus and direction that we need to achieve long term goals and objectives. Ultimately this will lead to a greater sense balance and fulfillment in life.
Here are a few initial steps that you can take to identify your values and purpose:
Step 1 - Identify Your Values
Start by listing important values and rate how effectively you represent them in your day-to-day life.
Step 2 - Focus on Your Core Values
Try to focus on the 3 or 4 values that are most important to you. You may find that there are some that you can naturally group together in strings. For example: honesty / transparency / integrity.
Step 3 - Consider Your Purpose
Now you have an idea of your core values, consider the purpose that resonates with you and that you want to live every day. There are a few exercises that you can try here:
Write down your near and long term aspirations and how they relate to your core values.
Imagine you are stood in front of an audience of the world’s media announcing your new product or service (think Steve Jobs revealing the iPhone). What would you be announcing? How would it make you feel?
Think about a time when you felt completely in control and full of power. Where were you? What were you doing? Who was with you?
Now try to identify some common themes that will give you an indication of what is truly important to you in life. What's your meaning and life purpose? Try thinking about a metaphor that could represent this.
Step 4 - Explore the Impact
Consider what impact you want and deserve to have in the world. What’s going to be possible for you if you live your purpose everyday?
Imagine that it’s the day of your retirement. A close, long term colleague is giving a speech about you and your achievements. What would you want them to say?
The exploration of life purpose takes time and requires commitment. This article is designed to provide a few tips on how to get started, but there is no substitute for working on your values, life purpose and impact with a coach.
If you would like to find out more, then why not book a FREE Coaching Consultation here.