Defining a Company Purpose Statement: Why Is More Important Than What
I find that when I ask leadership teams to start to discuss why the company exists, they focus on what they do. I often hear detailed descriptions about the outstanding service they provide their customers, or the unique product they produce.
The problem is that what a company does is not why they do it.
A company exists to fulfill a purpose – it is your reason for being. There are three guiding principles to defining your company’s purpose:
- The primary benefit must be to those you seek to serve.
- Your purpose must include everyone in the company.
- It must be able to withstand cultural, technological, and political changes.
Determining if your company’s purpose is a good expression of what your company does is essential. Consider the following characteristics:
- Is your purpose inspiring to those inside the company?
- Will your purpose be as valid 100 years from now as it is today?
- Does your purpose help you think expansively about what you could do but aren’t doing yet?
- Do you use your purpose to guide you towards deciding what not to do?
- Is your purpose authentic to your company as a whole?
Companies that fail on this authenticity count are often the ones that really don’t stand for anything and never will.
Your job as a leadership team is to determine what the company’s purpose is. And every business decision must be made against your purpose to ensure you do not get distracted.
Though it is inevitable that companies and people lose focus or get a little cocky and think that since they are succeeding in one area, they can succeed everywhere, your purpose can help you recover from these minor diversions.
It’s pretty simple. If you want a team dedicated to making incredible things happen, give them a reason.
I’ve been guiding leadership teams for decades towards finding and manifesting their organization’s purpose. Interested in clarifying your goals and becoming a better leader? Fill out the consult form below, and I’ll be in contact to set up a free initial consultation. Let’s get your team on track together.