Do your employees need more than a Mission Statement to understand their “higher” purpose? Can having a purpose statement increase revenue and growth? The answers may surprise you.
When I speak to other executives, I always like to ask them the Mission Statement of their Company or Organization. I find this answer to be very insightful on several levels – many times there is quite a variance between what the executive and the employees believe the mission statement to be. Often, I see a company’s Mission Statement confused with the Common Purpose of an organization. Many people will not understand the difference between these two terms, or mistakenly believe that they should be the same – in fact they represent very different objectives.
First, lets describe what a Mission should be. A Mission (or mission statement) is designed to provide a focus for the team; management and staff. Generally it should describe what business the organization is in. In the case of elements fitness, our Mission Statement is to be the leading fitness and lifestyle brand for women. Simple. Gives focus. Gives Clarity.
Now, lets describe our purpose. Generally the purpose of a organization might be a little more philosophical: why are we here? Many people might assume (wrongly) that a company exists only to make money. While this is certainly very important, we must drill a little deeper to find the real meaning of purpose for an organization, to tap into the real “heart” and energy of the tribe (team). A purpose for an organization might last for over a century, unlike a mission which could change or adapt every few years with markets. A purpose, unlike a goal, is always pursued but never actually reach, we are always striving to attain purpose. The mere fact that purpose can never be attained means that an organization must always strive to achieve it, stimulating progress and growth. The purpose of a company should certainly be more intangible, to get all tribe (team) members to share a common dream or vision, not just working for a paycheck. The purpose of elements is to improve lives – by saying this we can get all employees and executives to rally around a common goal and vision – regardless if we are speaking about an office administrator or a club general manager, everyone at our organization is committed and charged with improving lives. Its a higher purpose, and it’s special.
For me, learning that it is necessary to create higher purpose has been an important lesson on entrepreneurship and leadership. The genius of doing this well is to be left with a simple, easy to remember aspirational message which unifies and rallies all team members fostering growth.
Christopher Palumbo is the founder of the elements® family of healthy lifestyle brands, including elements fitness, The BalanceDiet Company, e’co natural products, slimberry®, and thinspa®.
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