Your Purpose. Is it “fluff” or does it actually mean something??
In the corporate or entrepreneurial world, it is seen as a word that is thrown around whilly nilly.
It turns out that it means so much more than fluff. Purpose drives us in our everyday lives AND is core to our happiness in our work. And as leaders, why would we want to not lead with purpose? Would that then make us a follower?
So.. What Is Purpose?
Purpose can be defined as a feeling that one’s work is meaningful and contributes to an overall mission that goes beyond the self. A strong sense of purpose helps us stay motivated, focused, and brings a level of satisfaction and meaning that permeates our life. Meaningful work can occur within a job, but also extends any of the work one does in the world such as activism, volunteering for a cause, parenting, and beyond.
Why Does Purpose Matter (according to research)?
Science says that purpose DOES matter. And here is why…
Happiness and Satisfaction. Two of the clearest outcomes that can be attributed to having a sense of purpose are increased well-being and life satisfaction (Lent, 2013). And we all want to feel good and have a fulfilling life, right?
Productivity. A high sense of purpose at work leads to increased engagement, which in turn boosts productivity (Rothmann, 2007).
Job satisfaction. Chalofsky and Krishna (2009) describe how having a feeling that one’s work is purposeful or meaningful is associated with increased employee commitment and job satisfaction.
Engaged employees. Designing jobs to maximize employees’ sense of their work as purposeful and meaningful can result in enhanced work engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction. So if you lead a team or are building a team, having purpose is core to your team, and you as a leader.
What are some beliefs associated with a strong sense of purpose?
This is my calling.
If money were no object, I would continue to support this mission.
Work is a large and positive part of my identity.
What are some beliefs associated with a lower sense of purpose?
Work is a means to an end.
I like my job but don’t feel especially connected to its mission.
How can I work to maximise purpose?
To leverage a strong sense of purpose, write your own short ‘statement of purpose’. What is it about your work that inspires you? Keep this statement accessible for motivation in challenging times. Focus on the people who are positively impacted by your work.
Not every job feels like a calling. If your job doesn’t feel very meaningful, work to develop other areas such as a sense of community, camaraderie, and belonging.
Amplify your sense of purpose by volunteering for a cause you believe in.
As a leader, nurture a ‘purposeful’ work culture. Encourage your employees to engage in community building activities or provide them with paid time off to volunteer. In your next team meeting, share a story of those who have benefited from your team’s work.
So there you go! Purpose is more important than ever right now in so many ways. When I discovered my purpose it was like a weight had been lifted. Like, the title I was chasing, or the huge pay cheque that I once thought was important were now a distant memory.
Without purpose, I was truly living a life that didn’t light me up.
What Are you doing to fulfil your purpose?