Four Attributes of a CORE Purpose

To keep your organization afloat you need to have positive cashflow. But that can’t be what your organization is all about. It’s important to focus on what’s deeper than making money—especially if you want to make more money. To secure your long-term future, it’s crucial to think about your organization’s CORE Purpose.

Your organization’s CORE Purpose is more than just making money. It’s more than your mission or vision. Your purpose is more than just what you do. Your organization’s purpose is the difference you want to make in the world as a result of what you do.

While the word “CORE” is a descriptive word for purpose, it is also an acronym for the four main attributes of having a CORE Purpose.


1. Clarifying


Your CORE Purpose gives you clarity. Once you do the hard work of identifying what your purpose is, it will help you see everything else more clearly—and it may bring new things into focus.

One of my clients has a purpose statement that clarifies everything for them. Not only does it provide the undergirding support for everything they do, it also serves as their tagline.

When they boiled down all that they did down to their purpose, it broadened their reach. They no longer were tied just to the activities they had been doing up to that point. Instead they were able to look for new opportunities that aligned with their purpose.

Your CORE Purpose helps you bring everything into perspective. It helps you see the CORE of your organization so that you don’t limit yourself to how you have seen your organization.


2. Organic


Your CORE Purpose comes from the inside of your organization. It cannot be a brand slogan that you find somewhere else to describe who you are. It must bubble up from the inside out.

Another of my clients has a purpose statement that is part and parcel of who they are. It defines why they started their business, and it describes what you can expect from them in all their interactions with customers and their community.

Your CORE Purpose must be uniquely yours. And because it is yours, it will have the power to define your organization.


3. Renewing


Your CORE Purpose renews your organization. It beckons you to a higher standard, and it reminds you why you do what you do.

Another of my clients has a purpose statement that renews their focus. Even though they are in the manufacturing business, they realize that they can make an impact on everyone they deal with.

Your CORE Purpose can become your rallying cry to do what you need to do even when times are hard, because you realize the work you do has significance and meaning beyond what you do every day.


4. Eternal


Your CORE Purpose should be eternal. It should be derived from timeless truths that have been around long before your organization and will long outlive your organization.

Another of my clients has a purpose statement that comes from their long history. Even though their purpose statement was birthed out of their heritage, it still provides meaning to every interaction they have with customers and it helps to define how employees see themselves in context.

Your CORE Purpose helps you espouse the truths that define your organization—and keep them front and center to guide all of your actions.


Key Takeaway


By identifying a purpose for your organization that is clarifying, organic, renewing, and eternal, you can develop a rallying cry that unites your team in a pursuit higher than profit. Your CORE purpose paradoxically helps you make more money because you are focusing on your purpose instead of on making money.

Your CORE Purpose is worth searching for. It usually requires a skilled facilitator to draw it out of you because it often is so deep within you. But once it is drawn out, it usually resonates immediately because everyone recognizes that it fits with who they are.


What's the purpose of your organization?


Robert McFarland is the author of the bestsellers, Dear Boss: What Your Employees Wish You Knew and Dear Employee: What Your Boss Wishes You Knew. Robert is also President of Transformational Impact LLC, a leadership development consultancy helping companies make ideals actionable.


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