Why Do You Work? What’s Your Compelling Workplace Mission?

The book, Mavericks at Work, by William C. Taylor and Polly LaBarre, shows how a compelling sense of purpose in your work is critical if you want to stay energized.

GSD & M, an advertising agency based in Austin, Texas is so committed to the importance of purpose in their business that they have a manager whose job title is the “Chief Purposologist.”bigstock-group-of-businessman-in-black--23644574

Fun-loving airline Southwest Airlines instills a sense of purpose in their employees by reminding them of SWA’s central mission: “Giving people the freedom to fly.” To help instill this sense of purpose in employees’ day to day lives they’ve built a culture around the theme “Freedom Begins With Me,” which they’ve broken down into eight freedoms that define their culture, including “the freedom to work hard and have fun.”

And then there’s Whole Foods, which, rather than giving everyone a bad case of the blahs with a “blah blah blah” mission statement, created a “Declaration of Interdependence” – a document they’ve carefully crafted and updated over the years. The detailed document is meant to inspire everyone around a compelling sense of purpose. What makes it stand out is its honesty. The statement ends with an admission that they don’t always live up to their values, and with the aspirational line: “dissatisfaction with the current reality, when compared to what is possible, spurs us towards excellence and towards creating a better person, company and world.”

It’s a great time to reflect on your sense of purpose at work. Why does your organization matter? Why does it stand out from the herd? And instead of feeling like you HAVE to go into work each day, what compelling sense of purpose will make you WANT to go into work every day?

Michael Kerr.  Michael Kerr is a Hall of Fame business speaker who travels the world researching, writing and speaking about inspiring workplace cultures.

 

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