Summer hasn’t seemed to slow the Scream team down, but we were recently able to take a break from the grind and participate in BLD day, a B-Corp Leadership Development Conference aimed to connect and strengthen the B-Corp community. While there were many highlights from the day, there was one seminar that has stayed with me.
Ross Wehner, a writer, educator, social entrepreneur and founder of World Leadership School lead a workshop on clarifying your purpose. To clarify your purpose first you have to understand what gives people purpose, what your purpose is and why people care. So what gives people purpose?
Wehner referenced Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist, holocaust concentration camp survivor and author of Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl witnessed and wrote that the difference between those who perished and those who survived in concentration camps came down to meaning. Meaning manifested differently for each person. For some, the purpose and meaning for living was to reunite and care for a child or loved one, for others it was completing a work of passion. Frankl stated that “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how.””
Wehner continued the workshop by introducing the golden circle, a concept conceived and described by Simon Sinek in his Ted Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”.
I highly recommend watching this Ted talk but if you need the cliffnotes, Sinek states that it is a biological and historical fact that audiences connect with people and companies when they start with purpose driven ideas. If you can start with the why and then move to the how and what, you will effectively connect with audiences and create brand loyalty and longevity.
Purpose drives innovation, connects individuals with a common ethos and validates almost any struggle. It is with a purpose-driven statement, that any individual or company can disrupt and make a lasting impact on an audience. It sounds like a no-brainer, but how do we craft and communicate our purpose?
Wehner explained that articulating your purpose can be difficult since purpose is often abstract and associated with how we feel. Wehner took us through a few exercises that helped us define who we are as individuals based on interests, skills and our outlook on the world. He also had us explore times in our lives where we have felt fulfilled and times where we have felt lost. It is in these moments of reflection that we can pull out what we need as individuals to be happy, how we connect to people and the community and ultimately, why we do what we do.
Writing your purpose takes time and self reflection. As you grow and evolve so does your purpose. This workshop made me realize how important it is to step back, return and realign with the why, not only as an individual but as a company. Becoming a B-Corp wasn’t the end result for us, but a reflection of our continued dedication toward a better community. As a B-Corp company, we continue to carve out our purpose in the community and help others be a force for good.