Last week, I attended Leadercast. The theme of the day was “Powered by Purpose.” Our first speaker articulated the definition of purpose as the reason for which something exists or is accomplished. Andy Stanley went on to explain that purpose is the means to an end. He emphasized that people want to be the "something" or the "end." No one wants to be the reason or the means. The starting point for purpose is not “Why am I here?” Instead it it is, “Who am I here for?” Stanley pointed out that purpose is always formed across the border from “What’s in it for me?”
Stanley reminded us of CVS Pharmacy’s decision in 2014 to stop selling tobacco products. CVS has always stated that their purpose is helping people on their path to better health. The CEO of CVS said, “Simply put, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.” The decision cost them billions of dollars. But they understood that purpose is a path to meaning.
Cheryl Bachelor in Dare to Serve said, “The point of purpose is to determine how you will serve others. If you don’t plan to serve, you don’t need a purpose.”
Who are you here for?