Leading with purpose: From Noun to Verb

Published on: 03/6/24 2:55 PM


Purpose /ˈpəːpəs/ noun

  1. The reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.
  2. A person’s sense of resolve or determination.

Welcome to the muddy waters of purpose-led business, where mission and vision statements are yesterday’s news, and purpose reigns supreme. At MuddyWellies, we’re digging deep into what it truly means to be driven by purpose and why it’s the heartbeat of any successful business.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: mission and vision statements. Can your business live without them? We reckon so. Gone are the days of generic, cookie-cutter statements plastered on office walls, or chucked on your website. Sure, mission and vision are functional and built to provide some focus and direction, but in our opinion, they often don’t – and can end up wasting your time and money. Mission and vision need to step up, change gear, and become a movement. That movement is your purpose – that emotional, intangible, yet powerful force that can become your guiding light to propel your brand and people forward.

Unlike your mission and vision, purpose is something that can’t be copied. A true differentiator for any business. The way we do things here involves getting to know the great people behind the brand because only they can truly articulate why they turn up every day – to collaborate, to make things happen, and to work towards one common goal. Once you’ve put your people first and identified that feeling, you’ve captured the magic that sets you apart from the competition.

But what about values? Do we really need them, or are they just empty words thrown around like confetti at your Christmas party? We believe, if you’re going to build a set of values that your people can live and breathe, they need to be more human. Sure, values can be important, but only if they’re authentic and meaningful. Otherwise, they’re just lip service. We encourage businesses to do what works for them, whether that means embracing traditional values or shaping new promises and commitments that hold more of a sense of urgency. The main thing is listening to your people and relating them to your purpose if you want to make a real impact.

Speaking of promises and commitments, do we really need them if we ditch values? Absolutely. We just need to make sure they are tied to behaviours – which can bring those commitments to life and help your employees to align themselves to the business, as well as support their own development. While values operate at a company level, behaviours are what truly define the people behind the brand. By focusing on real, everyday actions as well as your big-picture, inspirational values (or promises, or commitments, whatever you choose!), businesses can foster a culture that’s rooted in purpose and driven by genuine intention.

Let’s get one thing straight: purpose is not a thing – it’s a feeling. It’s a ‘doing’ word. And it’s about more than making a profit. It’s that gut instinct that gets your team out of bed in the morning, excited to tackle the day ahead. At MuddyWellies, we know that purpose isn’t just a concept; it’s a visceral experience that transforms businesses from the inside out.

So, how do we prove that we understand the power of purpose? By making it a verb, not a noun.

Purpose /ˈpəːpəs/ verb

  1. Purpose isn’t something you simply possess; it’s something you actively embody and pursue every single day. When a person’s sense of resolve or determination becomes an action.
  2. Taking action, making decisions, and living your values – whatever they may be. Leading with purpose can create an impact through any and every part of your business.

And while we’re on the topic of action, let’s not forget to indulge in life’s little pleasures, like those mouthwatering Iberico ribs at Fenix, Manchester. That’s where the idea for this blog was born. So, remember to get out and look up so those big-picture thoughts and ideas can flow in freely – and you don’t get bogged down in the same old, routine frustrations. After all, embracing purpose isn’t about sacrificing enjoyment; it’s about finding joy in the journey.

Being a purpose-led business isn’t just about fancy slogans or flashy marketing campaigns – it’s about embracing a mindset that prioritises intention, authenticity, and humanity. And if that means binning your mission, vision and values – go for it. Put your people first, build your purpose around them and everything else will naturally follow. So, go ahead, dive into your purpose project, and watch as your business thrives like never before.