Designing Love (and Purpose) Into the Organization

effort energy engagement leaders purpose leadership leading with a clear purpose leading with purpose mission organizational purpose passion passion and purpose at work purpose values vision Feb 22, 2024
Passion and Purpose at Work

As leaders, the systems we create to help us manage our own routine and workload are critical - especially if we’re going to have a real shot at keeping even the clearest purpose top of mind. But we DO NOT have the luxury of stopping there! Building similar routines into our entire organizational culture also falls in our lap; if we don’t do it, can we really expect anyone else to? One of the pesky phrases I’ve heard John Maxwell say for more than twenty years comes to mind, “Everything rises and falls on leadership…”

We’ll change gears later on and take a very specific look at what we need to do as leaders to ensure every individual on our team has a clear purpose of their own AND makes a direct connection between that and our organization’s purpose. For now, I want to challenge you to just consider how you can design the love and purpose we’ve been looking at, the kind that Marcus Buckingham says serves as “the most powerful force in business for driving behavior,” into the general routines that exist throughout your entire organization.

In chapter thirteen of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership on “The Law of the Picture,” John Maxwell shares that “the temptation for any leader is to merely communicate about the vision.” He goes on to warn us that “vision has a tendency to leak” if we’re not keeping it in front of our teams ALL THE TIME! Part of the responsibility we carry as leaders is making sure each team member not just understands the overarching purpose of our organization, but how their daily work connects with that. (We’ll dig into that in more detail soon too!) And the reality of it is that we’ll need to talk about it over and over and over again if we want to be sure any leak doesn’t allow it to completely drain from the daily picture they’re a part of.

Since we’ll go into more detail on the specific action steps we can take for this soon, I’ll just add one more thought on the idea for now. We can’t afford to assume that every individual team member will connect with any one thing we share about the organizational purpose. Just like every leader is wired differently, our team members are every bit as unique and each behavioral style will require a different approach in our communication for the message to be received exactly as we need it to be.

When we can do this effectively though, and keep our teams rallied around a clear purpose they can connect with (and possibly even love), we can indeed predict the behavior that follows; remember that 57% increase in discretionary effort I’ve mentioned a few times? That’s where we can begin really seeing the results of designing love and purpose in the organizational routines! Then we can get just as intentional about designing the same into what each customer or client experiences so we’ll look at that next.