What is your purpose?
Steven Covey tells us in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” that we should “begin with the end in mind.” We should have a goal or a result in mind. So, if I were to ask you “what is the purpose of your company?”, could you answer with something other than, “to make a profit”? If I were to ask you, “what is the purpose of your position or department?”, could you answer with full confidence? It is very easy to get sucked-in to the latest trend or to follow the path that someone is telling you works for them, but what if your mission or purpose isn’t the same? How would you identify if the decision is a good or bad one? You could weigh it against why you are doing what you do. You could weigh it against your mission statement, but around here we call it the purpose.
I read recently that Herb Kelleher, the founder of Southwest Airlines, said he wanted to be the most economical airline. He liked to have fun, but he was adamant that Southwest would not vary from the purpose of the company. Once, someone suggested they serve a nice chicken caesar salad on flights, and he responded with a question. He asked if that would help them to be the most economical airline? Of course the answer was no, so it was an easy decision to make. He had a purpose and his company made decisions based on that purpose. Even more importantly, his employees got behind that purpose and helped him keep it alive and thrive. They had a clear direction to follow and based all of their decisions on it. If you’re not sure about his leadership style, according to Wikipedia, “Fortune has also called him perhaps the best CEO in America.”
Still not convinced? Watch this video of Steve Jobs. He states that your business must continue to do what it believes at the core.
If you find your business floundering and looking for the next direction to head, we would suggest identifying your business’s purpose. The same goes for your department…you need to identify it’s purpose. It is the only way to know where you’re headed and keep you on track to get there.