Unpacking Purpose: Finding Your Why

Hello, friend! Thanks for dropping by the blog today. For my first entry (!!) I want to take sometime to explore one of the core concepts that drives my consulting practice: Purpose. This is a word we hear a lot in business, and with so much repetition, it can lose some of its meaning.

So, let’s break it down!

Purpose is your why.

But why is your why important?

We all have those tough mornings where getting going is just hard. Those days where leadership doesn’t come quite as easily, and an extra cup of coffee (or two) is mandatory. Having a clearly defined purpose doesn’t make those mornings go away. Instead, purpose is a powerful tool we can use to remind us why the day is worth tackling, why the hard conversations are worth having, and why we continue to show up for each other. I think of it like a keystone: the piece thatprovides stability for the entire structure.

Purpose is also like a safety net – especially when you know your purpose is felt and understood by everyone on your team. More hands holding the net = a more engaged staff. Purpose provides a foundation for how you do everything in your practice. It acts as a compass in your decision-making, guiding how you carry out the minutiae of everyday processes and shaping your big-picture business strategy.

There are a few more words you’ll hear a lot around here: Mission, Vision, and Values. These concepts are the building blocks of your purpose…your why.

Values are your core beliefs. These may include words like Integrity, Innovation, Teamwork, and Respect.

Your Mission is why you do what you do. This is usually a one-sentence summary of who your business serves and why that matters.

Your Vision sums up your goals for the future and how you’ll get there. This statement is both aninternal and external promise to uphold your highest standards.

These words mean very different things for different people and organizations. And it’s easy to come up with statements for each term that sound good and fit nicely on a plaque in your waiting room. But there is some work to be done if you want your Mission, Vision, and Values statements to sound good and provide you and your employees with a meaningful sense ofpurpose.

It’s vitally important for you to know and understand who you are, who you serve, and why youserve them. Becoming crystal clear on these three things, and using them as guiding principles, is what will inevitably set your practice apart and eliminate the competition.

Showing up authentically as a reflection of your purpose is what attracts people to your practice and fosters trust in those relationships. This is true of employees and patients and plays a big partin keeping them loyal to your practice.

Purpose-driven businesses are more profitable and have higher employee and customer satisfaction.

The proof is in the numbers. Let’s start with employee retention:

In a 2019 PwC survey, researchers found that:

At companies that have clearly defined and communicated how they create value,63% of employees say they’re motivated, versus 31% at other companies; 65% say they’re passionate about their work, versus 32% at other companies.

And the importance of purpose is growing among younger generations – also known as your future employees and customers!

In a 2019 study, Cone/Porter Novelli found that 83% of Gen Z in the US consider a company’s purpose when deciding where to work.

When values, mission, and vision become a part of your hiring practices, you attract, hire, and retain employees who not only possess the skillset required to perform their duties, but are also eager to be a part of the forward momentum and success of your practice. The truth is that it’s much, much harder to train employees to share common values than it is to teach them how to use a piece of equipment or new computer software.

Employees grounded in purpose are:

-More engaged in the workplace

-More accountable in their performance and yield consistent results

-Confident in the service you provide and not afraid to ask for referrals

-Able to build meaningful relationships with patients as well as members of the team

-Driven by service and exceed patient expectations by going the extra mile

The moral of the story: build and lead a team firmly grounded in your purpose and they will be committed to having an impact, favorably marketing your practice for you.

“Profit isn’t a purpose. It’s a result. To have purpose means the things we do are of real value toothers.”

-Simon Sinek, author of Find Your Why

So what about the impact of purpose on your bottom line?

The data is hard to ignore. Purpose-driven organizations are 21% more profitable thantheir competitors, according to Gallup.

Just like those potential employees looking for purpose in their work, your current and future customers are looking to put their dollars where their values are.

Purpose is the golden thread woven throughout the practice that holds everything together.

Finding your why isn’t always easy, and the answer can evolve and change with you and your team over time. Wherever you are in your development of a shared purpose, I would love to help you start asking, and answering, some of these big questions.




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