Einstein and compelling purpose

ID-10076135“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” – Albert Einstein With this quote, Einstein identified not only the secret to a fulfilling life, but also the secret to a fulfilling career—and the “secret sauce” of what makes star performers so successful. The star performers in an organization are consistently driven by a higher goal or purpose that informs everything they do. When people feel that they are doing something for the greater social good, they can’t help but be more invested in and passionate about their work. This is why we spend so much time creating truly powerful purpose statements in the Affirmative Leadership process. It usually takes about four hours of brainstorming, concept gathering, wording, and re-wording. We look for words that evoke an emotional response from others; we refer to these as power words and phrases. The final purpose statement must be both concise and specific. If it’s too long, people won’t remember it. If it’s too short or too general, it will lack impact. It also must be in the language of the company and more importantly, of the star performers and their roles. Unless it’s in that language, those being coached won’t relate to the ideas. An effective 250-character statement contains enough power words and emotional content to stimulate thinking, but not enough to hinder it. This isn’t a typical mission or vision statement. It has a unique, real quality that will resonate with others in the same role because it’s packed with powerful, passionate ideas, and the real reasons great managers love what they do. It evokes an emotional response, and that’s the secret of all effective purpose statements. To rephrase Einstein’s quote, “If you want to have a happy career, tie it to a compelling purpose, not to co-workers, promotions, or raises.” Image courtesy of MR LIGHTMAN / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]]>

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