Leading for Purpose

Here at The Fedcap Group, our mission is to create opportunities for people with barriers to economic well-being. Our mission is well-articulated throughout the organization, driven by our tagline “the Power of Possible.” Throughout our myriad programs and agencies—and through our four practice areas—Education, Economic Development, Occupational Health, and Workforce Development—the Power of Possible permeates the day-to-day work, and it is this mission that attracts people to become stakeholders as staff, donors, board members, and as consumers of our services.

It’s clear that our mission is a noble one. And yet, our conversation at every level delves beyond our mission to articulate our purpose. Our purpose is the “why” of our mission. Why do we come to work every day to enliven the Power of Possible? Why does it matter that we create opportunities for people with barriers to economic well-being?

It matters because our purpose is why we exist. We exist to combat inequality and inequity. Inequality and inequity undermine social justice. They rob individuals—children, veterans, immigrants, those with physical or developmental disabilities, those living with substance use disorder, and our senior population—of the chance to realize their intellectual, social, and economic potential. Inequality undermines growth. It contributes to a segregated society where growth is stunted and tensions mount.

When purpose is clearly articulated—and demonstrated through the work of every day—research tells us that businesses will fare much better in a number of ways. Retention  improves by at least twenty percent. Sixty-four percent of employees report a higher level of fulfillment. And there is a forty-nine percent increase in motivation to contribute to the company’s success. Ultimately, employees will feel a sense of ownership and loyalty, and they will be motivated to do their best work.

Connecting employees and stakeholders to our purpose is a deliberate and intentional process, not just because it is a good idea, but because it genuinely contributes to the bottom line and to the success of the organization. For-profit businesses are learning this lesson and discovering the impact of connecting purpose on the bottom line.

We will likely fulfill our mission when we openly discuss our purpose in our one-on-one meetings with staff, in our team meetings, throughout our strategy and stakeholder discussions. Connecting those whom we serve to our purpose is equally important as they, too, will be motivated to join us in eliminating barriers and pursuing opportunities for economic well-being.

How do you link your “why” to the daily work of your organization? In what ways do you articulate your purpose? As always, I welcome your thoughts.

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