In this episode, we dive into finding and incorporating your team purpose into its mission. It is episode 2 of our 25-part series on building high performance teams.
In the last minisode, we spoke about creating a team vision, which is ‘what' you’re going to achieve; the destination in vivid detail. Purpose, on the other hand, is all about your ‘why', your spirit, serving the greater good and leaving a legacy on the planet.
Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why” says, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
And that goes for people buying your products and people buying into your business or team plans.
If you don’t put team purpose at the heart of what you do, you’ll never know what it’s like to have someone in your team go the extra mile for the group or the feeling of kicking out of bed in the morning.
How does Purpose give us energy and make us kick out of bed in the morning?
When we do something for the greater good or extra special for someone, our brain produces oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine. These so-called ‘Happy Chemicals' release into the body making us feel great and providing a range of energy and health benefits.
Often I get to Friday after a huge week, and I have to get up and record a minisode. As you can imagine, I often wake up and it's the last thing I feel like doing. This is when I use purpose to get me going. I picture someone listening in their car or on the train and remember that if they get just one thing from the episode that enhances their approach, making them get a better result and feel a little lighter, then I've done a good service that'll have a ripple effect. This gets my juices flowing…and sparks me with energy and before I know it I'm ready to rock.
Living with purpose and being all business leads to a stale existence. One where stress and overwhelm thrive. This is the land of cortisol, a stress hormone that is more like the unhappy drug. The more you pound away at work without connecting to a team purpose or growth the more you will suffer physically and emotionally.
When we live with purpose, everyone around us starts to the thrive and feel happy. And when we see other people doing good things for others, it triggers happy chemicals too. And when we do it as a team, the ripple effect of our work can change the world.
Finding your Team Purpose
To find the purpose, get your team together and ask:
- How can we make the world a better place because of our work?
- What are all the things we do or can be doing?
- What are the causes we are passionate about?
- Who can we serve and make their life better?
- What articles do you read that fire you up?
Team Vision and Purpose = Powerful!
The next step is then to connect this with your Team Vision. If you can align your Team Vision and Team Purpose, then mountains can be moved.
In his famous ‘We choose to go to the moon' speech, President John F Kennedy connected the vision and purpose brilliantly. First, he set the vision and goals:
“We choose to go to the moon. To send mankind to the moon and bring them safely back to earth again within the decade.”
Then he incorporated the purpose:
“We mean to be a part of it – we mean to lead it. For the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.”
The results speak for themselves.
Without purpose, your life and work will feel heartless, soulless and all business. The running around will not make sense. You’ll constantly feel like you're just in the rat-race and search for an out.
But put it in your life and it’ll all feel worthwhile. You’ll be more resilient, more focused and just happier and everyone will see it. They’ll always remember that you had values and character and cared more about the planet and others than yourself and profit.
This is the way of true Chiefs.
Further articles in the High Performance Teams series
Pillar 1: Mission
(more to come…)