The Power of Purpose

Two men, doing the same thing, at the same place and at the same time.

One of those men is perfectly content. Actually, he is more than content. He is enjoying himself thoroughly and could continue doing exactly what he is doing for hours.

The other man, however, does not look content at all. In fact, if you were to sneak up behind him and listen carefully, you would hear him mutter some very choice words in relation to his thoughts on his current task.

One is angry and being drained. The other has a big smile on his face and is being uplifted. The task is cutting thousands of feet of ribbon into one foot strips.

Preparing lunch is not a chore at Watered Gardens. It is an opportunity to serve.
Preparing lunch is not a chore at Watered Gardens. It is an opportunity to serve.

The only difference between the two men and what they are doing is the reason for which they are doing it.

That is the power of purpose.

This is not a fictitious scenario. I know, because I was the one who was smiling. The individual across from me was a man named Jared.

We were at a place called Watered Gardens Rescue Mission, where I volunteer and where the poor and homeless can come in and earn many of life’s necessities.

Jared was annoyed because he was not accustomed to having to work for what he receives. To him, spending 2 hours cutting ribbon was merely an obstacle between he and the 4 items of clothing he would receive at the end of those two hours.

To me, I was doing something of significance. Cutting the ribbon was incidental. I was helping others get their lives back on track. Teaching them how to become productive members of society. Some have no interest in learning or growing, but many are sick of the homeless life and are ready to move forward.

Those are the ones who transform something as monotonous as cutting ribbon into something that gives you genuine joy.

That is the power of purpose.

chick-fil-a-umbrella
Only one fast food chain will help a mom with two kids to her car in the rain. They have helped my wife multiple times and she will never forget it.

This scenario is no different than the everyday work place.You and I show up at work and go home that night either feeling empty and drained, or feeling like we have accomplished something of significance.

Purpose is the reason you are treated so differently at Chick Fil-A than you are at McDonalds. It is the reason flight attendants on Southwest Airlines make you laugh when they do the pre-flight demonstration and you pay attention. Whereas with every other airline, you do your best to tune them out.

Purpose has the power to transform a monotonous task like cutting ribbon into something fulfilling and enriching.

You, as a leader, have the power to create a sense of purpose for those you lead, just like the founders of the aforementioned companies have famously done.

Vintage Southwest
Southwest Airlines puts its employees before everyone else, knowing if they are treated well, they will in turn treat their customers well.

There is fast food. Then there is Chick Fil-A. There are airlines. Then there is Southwest. What distinguishes these two businesses from every other one in their industry is the reason they do what they do.

That is the power of purpose.

*Coming Soon: Creating Purpose that Resonates

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