A job is a job, right? Those whom we employ should be grateful to have a paycheck. Maybe that’s how it was when we were in the midst of the recession, but life on the outside (and the inside) has changed dramatically. Today’s worker wants more, and you should as well. They want their work to matter. They want to feel a personal connection to the outcomes they are working so hard to achieve. We call this purpose.
The Truth About Noble Purpose
No one knows more about Noble Purpose than Lisa Earle McLeod, author of the forthcoming book, Leading with Noble Purpose and Selling with Noble Purpose. “Noble Purpose provides a north star for your team,” states McLeod. “It creates competitive differentiation and employee engagement.” I know what you are thinking. “How the heck can Noble Purpose create engagement?”
I’ve had jobs where it was quite evident that the only purpose of my work was to make more money for the uber wealthy owner that I was working for. I did what I needed to do out of fear. At the time, I was supporting myself in one of the most expensive cities in America and there weren’t exactly a ton of jobs available for people like me. I did what I needed to do, and nothing more.
I would have been a heck of a lot more productive and happier had my employer taken the time to define and communicate the Noble Purpose of the business I was working in. I would have been more engaged if I felt like my work mattered. And believe me when I tell you that I was not the only person who was disengaged. There were enough of us to start our own company.
The Value Add
In her Noble Purpose workshops, McLeod is passionate about helping employers add value to their clients. One of the ways she does this is by helping companies weed out those who are not on board. “We just did a workshop, where one of the organization’s sales guys said, ‘Our Noble Purpose is to sell stuff. All this stuff about improving the client is just fluff.” This guy was a real mid-level performer, whose boss had been on the fence about him. Seeing him in action during the Noble Purpose workshop enabled his manager to see him in a different light. He decided to let him go. He replaced him with a guy who is on fire about improving the lives of clients and sales have exploded in that territory!
The Connection Between Noble Purpose And Talent Magnetism
Finding your Noble Purpose requires more introspection than most organizations are willing to give to an idea that doesn’t emerge from some big consulting firm. However, those that embrace this idea experience remarkable results. “People are shocked to find out that companies with a Noble Purpose outperform the market by over 350%,” notes McLeod. They also have a much easier time of hiring the right people the first time around.
Compare these two statements:
- Come join our company. You’ll be a cog in our machine. You’ll be another expendable asset in our relentless drive to increase our earnings.
- Come join our company. You’ll be part of a team that is excited about making a difference in the lives of our customers. Our people are the reason we are able to achieve extraordinary results for our customers.
Which company would you rather work for? My guess is company number two. You can stand out in the crowded talent space and attract better candidates when your business has a Noble Purpose. You won’t have to convince people to come work for you because the right people will be reaching out to you. We call this Talent Magnetism—attracting top talent that will stick around.
McLeod and I both agree that it’s time for CEOs and their executives to get emotional. “Too much of our business language is sanitized corporate speak,” says McLeod. People want to work for someone who has passion and isn’t afraid to demonstrate why their people and their business matter, day in and day out.
© Matuson Consulting, 2015
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