Why Purpose Is More Powerful than Money

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Jan 30, 2020

Part of leadership is giving people something to be passionate about – a common purpose that gets them excited when they show up for work because they can see that they are doing something of value for themselves and the broader community, every single day. It’s challenging to feel passionate about a company that’s only focused on making money.

Certainly many people are passionate about money. Everyone wants it, and when they get it, they want still more. It motivates a lot of people to do a lot of things.

But money is only a short-term motivator. Once there’s enough of it to satisfy basic needs or dreams of riches, most people need more to inspire them to work so hard. They look for passion. This applies equally to employees and members of the executive team. It’s likely that you’re doing what you’re currently doing for a living because it’s about more than money. It’s more likely about your purpose.

Making money is the fringe benefit of fulfilling your purpose.

When you fulfill your purpose, money flows. When organizations achieve their purpose, adding zeros flows. When you don’t know what your purpose is, there can be money problems and worse.

When you have a clear purpose, you’ll change the world and all the people and communities with whom your organization interacts. When your entire team believes there’s a compelling reason for you to be in business, there’s an emotional connection with the organization that motivates and inspires them even when they have frustrations.

How do you craft a clear purpose in your organization?

Here are some possible steps for you to begin.

  • Ask this question (it's the best one to unlock your company’s purpose): What is your organization here to do, besides making money?
  • How do your company's goals align with the needs of your audience?
  • How do your employees leverage their skills with the needs of their individual jobs?
  • What core values do you want employees to live by?
  • What is the shared purpose of your company for everyone? (For example, for Google, it was this: to make it easier to find high-quality information on the web.)

These are only a few questions to get you started.

To recap, purposeful leaders leverage their common purpose to inspire, unify, and drive collective action to achieve goals. Purpose-driven brands produce business sustainability and positively impact the world by identifying a purpose common to their stakeholders and customers, and to society at large.

When you determine what ignites your passion and inspires you to be the best you can be, and when you draw on skills and experience of your people, you can have a true impact on the world and also make money.

We'd love to hear from you. Have you determined what your organization's true purpose is? Thank you for sharing.