How to Find the Heart of Business

If you don’t know why you are here,
how will you know what to do?

Life without purpose has no dignity, no direction, and no enduring passion. What’s true for you is true for business.

Purpose and business:

David Lapin explains, “The purpose of economic activity is to make a valuable contribution to the well-being of others.” (Lead by Greatness)

  • What businesses do? Engage in economic activity.
  • Why businesses exist – purpose? Make valuable contributions to the well-being of others.

Purpose is the heart of your business. Every great organization understands and owns its “valuable contribution to the well-being of others” – purpose.

Power of Purpose:

  1. Purpose drives business.
  2. Purpose directs business.
  3. Purpose evaluates business.
  4. Purpose enhances business.

Personal purpose:

Your difference explains your unique potential.

What’s good for business is better for you. Life without purpose is living death. Lapin suggests finding your purpose by, “analyzing [your] differences.”

Find how you fit in by
exploring what makes you stand out.

Three steps:

After exploring your difference, Lapin suggest three steps to discovering your purpose.

  1. List your capabilities. “Assets, skills, and experiences all come together to give you that unique set of capabilities.” Consider: physical abilities, upbringing, education, personality, world view, and more. (pg. 78)
  2. Identify primary beneficiaries. Who are the, “single set of people or entities that could derive the most value capabilities.”
  3. Uncover your passion. “…What activities in your work or personal life energize you?” Go one step more, “…What about them energizes and uplifts you…?”

Leadership and purpose:

Great leaders maximize differences. You may be tempted to look down on – minimize – those who are different from you. Small leaders judge everyone by themselves.

Always maximize uniqueness.
If you can’t, you’re on the wrong team.

How has purpose made a difference for you or others?

How did you clarify your purpose? Your business’ purpose?

This post is based on “Lead by Greatness” (ch. 6) and my conversation with it’s author, David Lapin.