What is Purpose?

November 30, 2017

ISSN# 1545-2646

What is Purpose?

Some weeks ago we discussed the vision, purpose and core values of running your business. We discussed vision as the road map, purpose as the guiding light and core values as the guard rails that keep you on the path.  Since then a few questions have come my way with respect to this “purpose” thing which is now getting more discussion in the marketplace.

Generations of newer employees are and have been entering the marketplace with views of how they believe things should be run. This is nothing new.  When the war heroes of the past world wars (traditionalist) were the majority of business leaders and the baby boomers entered the marketplace they brought with them different views than prior generations. They wanted to run things differently and the landscape of commerce in USA was pushing forward at rapid rates.  Civil rights changes, technology, sprawling urban cities and wage improvements all contributed to new ways of building businesses.

With this growth came more improvements and the desire for “boomers” to provide even a better life style for their next generations. This rapid upward spiral became so intense that this fundamental purpose of providing better for their family ultimately evolved into what the media labeled as greed. This same greed is what afforded the future generations to not just be provided with so many creature comforts, but to give them the option to not fully appreciate or understand the original purpose of the prior generations.

For a cycle of time between the latter end of the boomers and the early stages of millennials, purpose was hardly even a topic in the business arena. It tended to be relegated to select smaller groups of people seeking a greater non business cause.

So with much of the economic stage fairly stable for long periods of time (yes there were ups and downs) and basic living expenses covered, the newer and forthcoming generations are reintroducing purpose as a place to land on when looking for internal satisfaction.  They are not so focused on providing for future generations as they are more focused on themselves.  So purpose or what makes up purpose for these upcoming generations is again different than purpose of past generations. Their purpose is shaped by the behaviors and experiences of their journey along the path to adulthood.

Oddly, when upcoming generations are asked this question about “What is their purpose?” many struggle to even fully think or comprehend the broader and more significant realm of the concept of real purpose.  They sometimes latch onto purpose as it being anything other than previous generations felt it was to be.

The large challenge for business owners and leaders is not with the confusion about purpose but that not all next generation people are in the same box.  It is almost like there are two different camps of current and future team members.  One portion is very focused and gets their purpose, their direction, their opportunity to contribute and be acknowledged to feed their self recognition.  The other portion flounders about seeking to be part of some group recognition and then attach that “movement” to themselves.  Both want and need to feed that “self” gratification but achieve it differently.

For owners you need to identify what your business can provide to one or both groups and then align your team members around what you can and do provide.

This week, as we move into the end of the calendar year and holiday season, take some time to more fully understand your purpose, your business’s purpose and what embodies those elements in your company to attract and align the best talent in the marketplace.

Do you know your purpose? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and let’s discuss.






Posted in Assessments, Business Builder, JKLAssociates, Perpetuation, Promise Culture, Purpose, Talent Engagement, Transition, Vision