Constancy of Purpose

Understanding the purpose of what you want to accomplish is an essential strategy for life and business. This is not a secret; indeed many have talked about and demonstrated the value of having a constancy of purpose for both leaders and followers. The precise words of these commentators may be different, but their admonition is consistently the same.

purposeYou, as a leaders must know the purpose, goal or mission of the group you are leading and make the achievement of that purpose your constant goal.  People are attracted to working with and buying from people who know where they are going and what their purpose is. The purpose of your business or organization must be  consistent with  your personal purpose. When that purpose is widely understood the people you lead and sell to will find their roles in the organization and the organization and society as a whole will succeed.

Dr. Edward Deming  is credited with lighting a fire under the movement toward quality and leadership in the early 1980’s. He listed 14 important points that would move an organization out of chaos and be successful. The first of those 14 points was, ‘Create a constancy of purpose for continual improvement of products and service to society, allocating resources to provide for long range needs rather than only short term profitability, with a plan to become competitive, to stay in business, and to provide jobs.’ Deming believed it was essential that an organization identified and understood its purpose and constantly strive to fulfill that purpose.

Staying in business, growing your business and earning profits is a worthy purpose that contributes to accumulating financial assets and wealth. Keep in mind that profit is not a four letter word and it doesn’t matter whether the business you are leading or creating is a for profit on a not-for-profit business. Not-for-profit is a tax status not a business plan.

Businesses that don’t make staying in business and improving the business will fail because they will not be able to continue to employe and empower their members and employees. They will become footnotes to history and not contributors to society.

Many large organizations spend millions of dollars and many years developing a mission statement. For some, the effort is an exercise in futility, but for most it provides a standard against which many decisions can be bench-marked or judged. Great companies like General Electric credit their mission statements as the cornerstone of their success.