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“Is purpose more important than profit?”  This question was posed by Alan Murray, editor of Fortune Magazine, and referenced in this post by Mark Weinberger, CEO of EY.  It’s an intriguing thought because even from a young age with school and grades, we are taught results matter.  This certainly rings true in our roles as product management leaders as well.

In Mr. Weinberger’s post, he makes three observations about how to find purpose at work:

  1. Make sure your people can see the connection between your purpose and your business
  2. Get people engaged at every level of the company
  3. Measure your results

I don’t disagree with any of the points because they all point to leadership attributes we should  be striving for … the first is casting vision, the second is communication & collaboration, and the third is effectiveness & accountability.  From a company perspective, this definition makes sense to me.

But at a personal level, and as I’ve posted previously, purpose runs much deeper than this. Mr. Weinberger alludes to this by the end of the article, but doesn’t expand enough upon it for my liking.

“…purpose really comes down to mindset. It means building a culture that taps into your people’s sense of aspiration. It means empowering everyone you work with – from your clients or customers to your employees to your communities – not just to do better, but to be better. After all, purpose is truly about doing well by doing good.”

Here are few of my favorite thoughts from previous posts on the subject … enjoy the tidbits, and dig deeper if you are so led …

  • From Passion, Purpose & Excellence – a quote from Frederick Nietzsche … “He who has a why can endure any how.’ Knowing your why is an important first step in figuring out how to achieve the goals that excite you and create a life you enjoy living (versus merely surviving!).
  • From Aristotle on Purpose, Character & Leadership – of course a quote from Aristotle … “Where your talents and the needs of the world cross; there lies your vocation (purpose)“.
  • From #gladtobehere – a quote from former Blue Angel John Foley … “it is important to me because it symbolizes a greater truth that flows throughout the lives of everyone who takes high performance to the highest levels. Most high performers articulate it, even if they don’t use that exact phrase …on a day-in, day-out basis, it’s a phrase that ultimately captures the essence of living and working for something greater than ourselves.
  • From Operating From the Inside Out – Based on Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start with Why’ … Purpose: Why am I here?, Vision: Where am I going, Mission: How will I get there?, Values: What’s important along the way?