Recent studies have shown that leading a life of purpose is good for your health. Those whose lives have direction and meaning spend less time in the hospital and live longer.
But did you know that a sense of purpose is good for your company too? When your team feels like what they do matters, your company will be filled with a vibe that attracts customers, new team members and additional sales. As best-selling business author Malcolm Gladwell says, “Hard work is a prison cell only if the work has no meaning.”
So how do you give your team the feeling that they’re doing something important? The following four steps will get you started on leading with purpose.
1. Develop A Mission Statement
The easiest way to let your team and others know you are doing work that matters is through your mission statement. According to leading mission statement researcher Christopher Bart, it lets everyone know what you’re about, why you exist, and what you’re trying to accomplish.
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Dave believes the mission statement is so important that each team member is required to memorize it. Everything the company does is rooted in it. If a new idea doesn’t fit, it won’t be used—even if it has the potential to be profitable. “It establishes a real sense of unity, creates value in every position in the company, and keeps us all with our eyes on the same ball,” Dave says.
2. Cast Your Vision
Your vision lets your team know where you want your organization to go—a word picture of your dreams and how you’re going to get there. Once you have it, share it with them often so everyone has their eyes on the same prize. And don’t forget to celebrate the wins along the way.
3. Delegate Work
One of the best ways to build a business bigger than you is to delegate. It also shows your team that you trust them, which brings out the best in people. They want to rise to the occasion and stay engaged with their jobs.
4. Tell the Story
As a leader, it’s your responsibility to pass on the legacy of your journey from idea to a full-fledged company. Share your story often, including your hardships, sacrifices and victories. Tell them about all the times you refused to quit. As Dave says, “It lets them know they are part of something that’s bigger than them. They’re participating in a big deal.”
In today’s marketplace, companies that are purpose-driven are winning. Your team, your customers and even your vendors want to feel like your products and services have meaning. Lead with purpose, and you’ll soon see a change in everyone around you.
An essential characteristic of any great leader is a willingness to learn. And one of the easiest ways to gain knowledge is with our EntreLeadership Podcast. Each week, we share tools, tips and great conversation with some of the top business and leadership experts in the country, as well as interviews with fellow EntreLeaders. Listen now.