Unleash the Power of Purpose…

If you want to see an employee or a team really come to life, help them figure out their purpose and set them loose!

It is one thing to have a job, it is entirely another to have a purpose.  A job can be anything from owner/CEO of the business, to manager, or any one of the hundreds of titles we traditionally stamp on Org Charts to differentiate ourselves in the workplace.  But those titles don’t necessary equate to purpose.  And purpose has power.


Defining Purpose…

Recently a business owner sitting on the cusp of a significant growth curve was challenged to draft an “Accountability Chart” for his company.   We intentionally use the word “Accountability” vs  “Organizational” because it invokes a sense of ownership, of value, of purpose  for each “box” on the chart.   We use this language with our clients because we know it shifts their mindset (and ultimately the mindset of their team).   The challenge with the traditional Org Chart is that it passively implies hierarchy and pecking orders and often too much emphasis is put on the name and the title, not how the position impacts the mission of the company.


When planning for growth, the challenge is not to simply map out a current accountability chart, but a future chart defining roles that will be required to match the projected growth curve the business is preparing for.   That was the case with this business owner.    The process really isn’t that complicated.   The main shift is thinking in terms of getting things done and who is responsible for what.   This will help you group duties and responsibilities with functions and not get caught up in a specific person or titles.  You end up with an accountability chart that has boxes of purpose instead of boxes with titles.


Why focus on purpose?  Let’s say you had to bet on the success of company.   Would you put your money on the company that hired employees who were seeking “Job Titles and Org Chart Positions” or the company that placed its emphasis on “Clarifying the Purpose and Value of Each Position” and how it contributes to the company’s overall mission?  Defining the purpose is powerful.   Anyone who loves their work will talk about their purpose and could care less about their title.


Back to the business owner….

As mentioned, this owner was tasked to map out an Accountability Chart to align with his projections for growth.  What he created really surpassed expectations, not only did he identify future positions (some that had never even been discussed) but he identified the functions in the business  where he felt he added value and purpose and which roles would be better served by someone else.


Every box on the chart had a business function, not a title (IE: Operations / Delivery) with a list of all the areas of accountability that each box would be responsible for.

Operations / Delivery

  • This
  • That
  • The other


The Caveat….

Additionally, there was one more step that provided a powerful visual of the areas of the business that will need attention first as his business grows.   Each box of purpose has a number of duties/roles that are part of that function.  After each duty/role listed in boxes, there was one of 4 letters denoting the owner’s opinion of that particular item.  Below is the key and what each of the 4 signified.

L – Love This Part of the Business

B – Like, but willing to Share

W – Weak, Lack Skill Set

H – Hate, can’t wait to offload duty


By adding one of these letters after every item listed under every function on the accountability chart, it created a quick visual of the areas that will need to be addressed first as the business grows.   One of the keys to scaling your business is figuring out what you (as the owner) can transition – this approach will help you figure that out.


Implementing Purpose….

So, if there are several “W” under the roles listed under Operations/Delivery function.   Rather than dwelling on the fact that he is weak in that area he can focus on finding someone who finds purpose in performing those functions.   Having clarity of the roles/duties allows him to hire someone looking to do those specific roles, not someone just seeking the title of Operations Manager.   Purpose has Power.


What about your business?   Do you focus on the titles on the chart or the purpose those positions have in the mission of your company?   Have you ever taken the time to think about functions in your business you really need to offload or delegate to someone else?   Do your employees understand the purpose and value of their contributions to the business?


As always we love any thoughts or feedback in the space below.


Chris Steinlage    Kansas City Business Coach