AMP III: Got Purpose?


I tried a little experiment a week ago. I told my 12 yr old to put her banana peel in the compost bin. She asked, “But, why?”. (Don’t ask… that’s just how pre-teens communicate.) I said, “Because I said so”. Guess what! Didn’t work 🙁

Later in the day, I told her to put an apple core into the compost bin. She asked again, “But, why?”. Sigh! This time I said, “Because it is better for the environment, compost is an excellent soil conditioner, lowers risk of pollution, is better for the environment. Just think.. those grass fields you play soccer on, its great for those”. And she said, “Huh, that makes sense.” And, lo and behold, we haven’t looked back on the composting 🙂

So, this is a simple example. But a deliberate inclusion in this blog to illustrate a point. Purpose is a key component in everything we do. All things being equal, purpose is the differenciating factor between two job offers. It’s what makes everything we do meaningful, no matter the task.

Establishing a mission and a purpose at all levels within an organization, and conveying that effectively, goes a long way in ensuring engagement and commitment. It brings a new dimension to the task at hand, and a diligence that is uncanny.

Purpose can be defined at all levels of your work structure, including, but not limited to:

  • Company-level
  • Organization-level
  • Task-level

In my mind, purpose is essential and must be well-understood. It goes beyond just getting the next contract serviced, or getting through the unending features list, or getting a product out bug-free. It’s the reason for your existence, the bigger picture, the impact your organization/task/company is going to have in the grand scheme of things, and much more.

Don’t have a purpose? Well, get your team together and do some brainstorming. Bottom-up purpose identification is pretty powerful and a great way to get buy-in from your team. The most effective mission and purpose statements I’ve seen have catchy one-liners or phrases. But that’s not easily arrived at. It takes a great deal of introspection.

I would love to hear your thoughts on how PURPOSE can be/has been a game-changing component of motivation.



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