A Purpose-Driven Company

What is the purpose of your company? A purpose higher than profit can be a competitive advantage.

“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” — Tony Hsieh

Profit is king in the world of business.

It’s necessary to sustain a business and reward its shareholders. But if profit is the only thing that matters, the company’s purpose quickly takes a back seat to cost-cutting and other purpose-killing measures:

  • An obsession with quarterly earnings and not value

  • Unreasonable working hours and conditions

  • Morally questionable behavior

  • Rash decision-making

  • Short-term thinking

Morally questionable behavior and short-term thinking in particular make for demoralized employees, less efficient work and unhappy customers.

The use of profit as a vehicle for purpose is more common these days. The introduction of “Why?” into the equation of balance sheets and EBITDA is driving a new breed of company where purpose is front and center.

Peter Drucker once said “profit is not the purpose of a business, rather the test of its validity.” Once that bridge is crossed, purpose-driven companies routinely outperform their money-chasing counterparts.

Purpose is a competitive advantage. It creates...

  • An emotional engagement with customers

  • Trust among employees, partners and customers

  • High moral with meaningful work that has an impact

Just having a purpose is not enough. You must clearly outline it, communicate it and connect every employee’s work directly to it. More consistent decision-making in line with purpose becomes yet another competitive advantage. According to Roy Spence, “purpose doesn't make decisions easy, it makes them clear.”

Are you in a purpose-driven company? If not, perhaps it’s time to make a change. If yes, what is your purpose in one sentence?

Lead with purpose and use it as a competitive advantage. Profit will follow.