It is well established by now that purpose-driven companies thrive. This is contrary to the long-held belief that businesses that make profits the sole purpose of the entity are the only ones that will survive. More than forty years ago, I established my organization with the goal of uplifting and expanding the human condition. This was long before buzzwords such as “conscious capitalism” and “mindful leaders” became a part of everyday vocabulary.
Back then, I probably would not have been able to put a name to what I was trying to achieve but I was sure that people and purpose would be the underlying factor in anything I did.
Although it was difficult at times, I did not shy away from working with people who many considered “undesirables.” I remember finding it odd that most people did not respect these talented artisans who created such wonderful works of art.
Supporting and showcasing the artisans has become my purpose and the purpose of my entire organization. Anyone who works at my company needs to understand that we are serving others, not the other way around.
There is no room for ego at purpose-driven companies because ego grows and eventually strangles anything that stands in its way. On the other hand, when the ego is set aside and a company infuses purpose in everything it does, then the organization grows and thrives.
In this way, growth happens organically because customers are drawn to the purpose and wholeheartedly want to support the company. However, when growth is artificial, customers can see right through it. Today’s customers and employees are looking for genuine and meaningful experiences and this only happens when you have a purpose.
According to a survey from PwC, a large percentage of leaders (79%) think that purpose is vital to a company’s success, yet 68% said that purpose is not used as a factor when making leadership decisions.
“Purpose does more than making a brand unique,” business ethics expert Caterina Bulgarella writes in Forbes magazine. “It can shine a light on a business’ evolutionary path. At a basic level, purpose can simply express what an organization aspires to be and do. But at a more advanced one, it becomes a conscious expression of how an organization intends to evolve and transform itself.”
Leaders should be passionate about purpose because, without it, your organization will not have a meaningful impact.