June 6

BEST BOSS EVER! Newsletter June, ’24

May Newsletter Recap

# 1 – Why is leadership so challenging? Intensity to achieve results, do more with less, retention challenges & much more contribute to the challenge.

# 2 – Is there something leaders are missing? Not focused on learning, don’t get feedback & don’t use the big ‘3’

# 3 – What can you do? Commit to growing, get 360 feedback, and identify your core leadership beliefs.

Dear Reader,

This month’s issue explores why it is crucial for leaders to guide their companies with a stronger sense of purpose.


Point # 1 – What is the purpose of business?

“The traditional view that the primary purpose of business is to maximize shareholder value is wrong, dangerous, and ill-suited to today’s environment.” Hubert Joly

Why does your business exist? If it is solely to make a profit, it is one-dimensional and will eventually fight for its life. The world has changed in the last twenty years, and companies whose single focus is on profit maximization will struggle to retain the best talent. Today, the business dedicated to serving ALL its stakeholders, not just its shareholders, is the business that people want to work for.

The purpose of a business is often confused with its mission. They are not the same. The mission states what we do, while the purpose states why we do it. A mission without purpose is weak.

“Purpose is a unifying statement of the commercial and social problems a business intends to profitably solve for its stakeholders.” Ranjay Gulati

“Stakeholders” include customers, employees, vendors, communities, and shareholders.

The purpose should be the defining statement that helps people understand why we exist. It should impact all that the organization does, serving as a context for setting priorities and making decisions. It is the soul, the most enduring element of a company, a “directed intention” or the “entire DNA.”

For example: “Our purpose revolves around our mission to enrich and nourish lives: We strive to create a better world by considering the company’s environmental, economic, social, and ethical dimensions.” Aramark

Ask Yourself: “What is my company’s purpose?”


Point # 2 – Why purpose is the heart and soul of a company.

“Research shows it’s possible to serve two masters at once – profit and social purpose. Companies that pursue social goals tend to improve their financial performance.” Ranjay Gulati

Without purpose as a north star, prioritizing profit over the impact on the environment or the local community becomes commonplace. Balancing opportunities and addressing opposing needs is challenging. In my experience, advocating for profit growth is often simpler than finding ways to achieve both profitability and purpose simultaneously.

Performance with purpose is different than a sole focus on performance. It must include financial, human, environmental, and talent sustainability (Ranjay Gulati). Ranjay tells the story of PepsiCo’s turnaround under Indra Nooyi. The results were amazing: an 80 percent increase in sales and a total shareholder return that outperformed the S&P 500. At the same time, it cut its water usage by 25%, provided 22 million people access to safe drinking water, and made its leadership significantly more diverse.

Ask Yourself: Does my company make decisions to serve all stakeholders?

Point # 3 – What are outstanding leaders called to do?

A 2019 McKinsey study of employees found that 82 percent agreed that company purpose was important, but only 42 percent felt that “their organization’s purpose statement drives impact.”

Each of us has a purpose. Knowing your purpose is job number one. Secondly, help your team members define their purpose. It is easier to speak about the company’s purpose when you can relate it to your team member’s purpose. Explain how the company serves all stakeholders. Discovering your purpose and helping others do the same involves challenging, reflective work. Reach out to me if you need help discovering your purpose.

If your company doesn’t have a purpose statement and you are not the CEO, your job is to promote why a company purpose statement is essential. You can find a lot of supporting materials to help you. Start by looking at the Want to Go Deeper? resources below. There is an untapped potential with companies that have not defined their purpose. Defining a company’s purpose is hard work, but defining your purpose is the first step toward transforming your business.

Ask Yourself: What can I do to be a purposeful leader?

Want to help a struggling leader? Refer them to me, and I will help them create an improvement plan.

Want to Go Deeper?

1.     Deep Purpose – The heart and soul of high-performance companies by Ranjay Gulati

2.     The Heart of Business – leadership principles for the next era of capitalism by Hubert Joly

3.     Bringing Your Company Purpose to Life – 3 charts to start discussions about why you exist. HBR

Please forward this newsletter to a friend or colleague. Thank you!

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