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BW Businessworld

Book Review: Find Your Purpose

Craig’s book serves as the initiator to start treading the path of defining a company’s purpose and eventually help attain its goals

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Purpose is rarely considered  a thought focus area of leadership. It is a quality that is generally just touched during the leadership mentoring, during the setting of goals and vision of a company but many forget that purpose is the aspect that is fast gaining significance due to the simple fact that if the purpose is well defined and understood by the senior leadership of the company, the ultimate goal can be obtained since each path is bound to be clearly aligned to the purpose. In fact, proper alignment of the purpose has helped many companies, including those in the Fortune 500, stay afloat in difficult times.

Author Nick Craig in his book Leading From Purpose,writes, “Purpose isn’t one of the 12 elements. Purpose is the stage on which all the other elements (values, strengths, self-awareness, etc.) create great leadership”. Keeping this philosophy as the base, Craig lays emphasis that purpose is one of the leading leadership focus area, which needs to be clearly defined, understood and adhered to for any company, at any stage, to achieve success and to achieve organisation goals.

How does one define purpose? As Criag points out, purpose is not something one has to search for externally nor is it an impossible task demanding one to leave everything behind, but it is already present, waiting to be discovered and defined. Taking the help of numerous experiences of the people Criag has interviewed, the reader gets a fair idea of the meaning of purpose and what leading from purpose can represent. And if we extend the definition of purpose to the giants corporates that rule the world, one is bound to discover that it is not the financials or market share that make up the companies’ overall goals but social responsibility and the environmental impact, which also are considered while defining its purpose.

Indian organisaitons such as Amul and Lijjat are some of the of companies that define social purpose. Amul ushered in the milk revolution in India and enabled many villages in rural Western India to come out of poverty. Lijjat was all about women empowerment, a term which was unheard of in rural India. In each of these companies, the goals were not just to do business, but it was to do business with a social cause, social purpose.

Craig’s book is divided into three parts, the first part consists of examples and illustrations that focuses on the importance of purpose. The second part, the most interesting part of the book, focuses on how one can find one’s purpose by understanding some genuine purpose statements and through simple exercises, and to understand the impact the purpose might have. The third and final part drills down to the actual aspects of leading from purpose.

The road to success is long and is filled with hurdles. Craig’s book serves as the initiator to start treading the path of defining a company’s purpose and eventually help to attain its goals.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Aparna Tadimety

The author is a freelance contributor

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