Will having a personal purpose change your life? I believe so. But the bigger and more important question is – will your personal purpose change other people’s lives for the better?
One of our Popeyes franchisees has a purpose “to make at least 10 restaurant leaders millionaires.” I realize this may not sound like a heart-warming personal purpose statement, but this I know for sure: it is not about self, it is about others. For the ten restaurant leaders who become millionaires – their lives will be changed forever.
Another franchisee has a purpose “to help his restaurant supervisors own their first home.” When these supervisors reach that day of moving into their first home, I guarantee you they will say, “I am better off because of the leader I work for.”
A third franchisee has a purpose “to help young people find a career path in the restaurant business.” This purpose drives focus on continuous training and coaching to help the people grow in capability. When the opportunity for promotion occurs, the leader makes sure a person is ready and waiting for that challenge. The newly promoted team member will certainly say, “I’m in a better place.”
Robert Greenleaf, in the publication The Servant as Leader, tells us the difference between the leader focused on self and the leader focused on others. He says: “The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first [leader] to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves for become servants?”
In short, will your personal purpose change the lives of others for the better?
At Popeyes, our company purpose has been “to inspire servant leaders to achieve superior results.” Our goal was to dramatically improve the sales and profits of our franchise owners. Today, they have experienced seven years of increased sales and profits – sales are up 40% and restaurant profits are up over 70%. The franchise owners are wildly better off than they were seven years ago. Their businesses are healthier, they are now able to invest in the future, and they are more likely to expand and provide new jobs in the communities where they serve. Because of these results, we can say our purpose has served the people well.
I encourage you to formulate your personal purpose for leadership with this thought in mind: will the people be better off as a result of your leadership?
Will you grow their skills, develop their character traits, show them a wise path, build their confidence, take a risk on them, and find a path to promote them to the next level?
When they look back on your influence, will they say that you changed their work life for the better?
To develop your own personal purpose, check the resources tab on my website Serving Performs..
And discover your purpose for serving others.