Driving Purpose: the benefit of over performing

Driving purpose of beer
Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

Many years ago, while I was still in primary school, an old family friend asked me: “Why do some people jump 10 feet over a 5 feet hurdle while others will use the minimum amount of energy to clear the obstacle?” Since then, the question stuck with me. Why do some people have a driving purpose and others not? 

The question made me think about the effort I apply at school. As an introvert, I loved sitting behind my books, focus and work independently to do my best. The satisfaction to see the result of my hard work was a huge reward. I reaped the benefit of having a driving purpose.

The pitfall of no driving purpose

Today, nearly all of us are required to work about 8 hours per day, the nine to five job. Unfortunately, for most people, this is a considerable effort. Even doing the minimum is a struggle. Consequently, they feel like just another brick in the wall. It is stripping them of purpose. 

After all, why would they consider walking the extra mile if they don’t get much in return for all their effort? To be trapped in such a situation can be devastating.

The advantage of a driving purpose

On the contrary, some of our leading entrepreneurs are getting a tremendous amount of satisfaction going to work and doing what they do best. The reason, they found their driving purpose. Think of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson and the late Steve Jobs. Consequently, passion pushed them to the next level. Daily, they capture our imagination. They create a sense of meaning that is contagious. Never you will hear them ask, “how little can I do to get through this day”.

Also, they are not in the business to make money, although it makes life a bit easier. Because after a while, it is just another million. And it is not about the current product; every product has a life cycle. Most of all, it is about the sense of purpose they create – to say that you’ve done something remarkable, something that matters.

I am fortunate to work with a group of engineers who are always testing the limits of what is possible. The delight to push the boundaries of what is possible is like a drug to them. Daily they want to make a difference. I call them warriors.

The journey of finding the WHY

What does this mean for an entrepreneurial introvert?

You need to create an environment where those around you feel needed and appreciated. Co-workers need to do something that matters to them. Focus on changing their status quo from “doing what they love” to “love what they do”. Articulate why they are all critical. A good example is Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why”.

In other words, make them part of the mission. Offer them the opportunity to contribute. Give them a driving purpose and they will work harder. When they see the benefits, a certain amount of passion will slip in. Create a space where they can find their driving purpose, to create more value, solve more challenging problems, build valuable connections and to do what matters to them. Maybe they will start over performing.

The elements of a great purpose

“The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, or gives you a sense of meaning, joy, or passion.” ―Terry Orlick

Driving Purpose: the benefit of over performing
Driving Purpose: the benefit of over performing

#1 Purpose

Why you get out of bed every morning? What is driving you?

Purpose gives you a sense of direction. You will find that purpose has no real end, but you will quickly give 100% to reach it. Suddenly, 200% is a walk in the park.

#2 Vision

Where you want to get to by a specific point in time in line with the Purpose?

Only a few people will understand what you do. Today, we outsource most of the good old jobs. So, if somebody asks you what your company does, tell them why you are amazing. Say it in a memorable, meaningful and motivating way. Capture their imagination and take them with you on your journey.

#3 Mission

What bold moves do you need to take to achieve the Vision?

We all know businesses need to make money to survive. But if you want a team to do incredible things, give them a purpose, goal and roadmap. More importantly, make them believe in your reason for doing this. If your mission statement contains buzzwords, you’ve lost it.

#4 Value

What behaviors and attitudes you display?

How often do we see the same core values of integrity, innovation, passion, customers, etc.? The fact is, the mafia demands the same. Please tell us why the company’s culture matters to us, the employees and customers.

#5 Positioning

How all of the above is encapsulated to occupy a distinct place in your mind?

Take our driving purpose on a journey with you. Please show us the true north. Make a real deep connection with us so that we can position our values to drive a collective mission.

Beware of the fake driving purpose.

On the contrary, imagine a team of passionate rugby players with limited skill. In a previous blog, I labelled them as the dogs, incredible loyal but with insufficient competence. As a result, they may often use their passionate mindset as an excuse for poor performance. They may even be addicted to busyness. In the same way, get extremely worried if you have employees with no passion and limited skill. 

Bottom line: Working every day with a goal is so much more rewarding than doing as little as possible. If you don’t feel empowered to make a change, you should probably work somewhere else.

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