Thursday, August 4, 2016

Leading with Noble Purpose

In Lisa McLeod’s newest book, Leading with Noble Purpose (2016), she expands the view of her earlier bestselling book, Selling with Noble Purpose (2012), to encourage leaders at all levels to guide their organization’s performance and strategy based on the Noble Purpose for which they exist.

For government and not-for-profit entities this idea seems to come naturally as – at their origins – these organizations were created with some Noble Purpose in mind.  For some in the for-profit world, this might seem to be a stretch.  Shouldn’t performance be focused on making money?  McLeod says “no.”  Some of her key points include:

*Research shows that salespeople who sell with the Noble Purpose of their company in mind – who truly want to make a difference in the lives of their customers – outsell those who are more focused on targets or quotas.

*Promoting the Noble Purpose of your firm increases employee engagement – which is correlated with customer satisfaction and profit.

*Leading with Noble Purpose can ultimately make more money for a firm.  McLeod says “As a Noble Purpose leader, you must believe that your business adds value to the world and you deserve to be paid for it.”  This is about a company delighting its customers with its Noble Purpose and making good money while doing so.

While Noble Purpose may seem more natural for government and not-for-profit organizations, they also have a lot to learn from McLeod’s recommendations.  In my experience it is very easy for leaders to focus on short term issues and activities, rather than continually reminding their team of their Noble Purpose.  I’ve seen this happen, for example, within the fundraising function where executives can get myopic about dollars raised and lose sight of mission.  While “No Money, No Mission” is a truism, it is vital that we continually remind ourselves of the Noble Purpose of the dollars being raised.

How does one create a focused Noble Purpose for an organization?  That will be the topic of the next blog.  Stay tuned.

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site.  You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

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