As mentioned in my recent post, On Purpose: What Condition is Your Mission In?, spirit and meaning are missing in many organizations. The huge disconnect between our existential search for a deeper purpose and the empty words of mission statements is a major factor behind The Great Resignation.


“Those who are able to inspire give people a sense of purpose or belonging that has little to do with any external incentive or benefit to be gained. Those who truly lead are able to create a following of people who act not because they were swayed, but because they were inspired.”

Sinek, Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action


“First and foremost, purpose is about the strategic decisions and the operations of the firm. However, when the moment comes for essential choices that could impact the firm’s brand and its relationships with shareholders and other stakeholders, C-suites need to be ready. Those choices should be guided not by the personal values of the CEO or that of the members of the board, but by a corporation’s well-thought-out purpose.”

André Pratte, Chair of the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of the Corporation


“We’re learning that the profit motive, potent though it is, can be an insufficient impetus for both individuals and organizations. An equally powerful source of energy, one we’ve often neglected or dismissed as unrealistic, is what we might call the ‘purpose motive.'”

Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us


“In truth, the only justifiable purpose of a business is to create and add value, to make something happen that wasn’t there before, or, if it was already there, to make it better, or cheaper, or available to more people.”

Charles Handy, The Hungry Spirit: Beyond Capitalism — A Quest for Purpose in the Modern World


“Profitability is not the purpose of, but a limiting factor on business enterprise and business activity. Profit is not the explanation, cause, or rationale of business behavior and business decisions, but rather the test of their validity.”

Peter Drucker, The Essential Drucker


“Profitability is a necessary condition for existence and a means to more important ends, but it is not the end in itself for many of the visionary companies. Profit is like oxygen, food, water, and blood for the body; they are not the point of life, but without them, there is no life.”

James C. Collins and Jerry Porras, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies


“Consider the words affection, love, joy, authenticity, empathy, compassion, soulfulness, and other terms of endearment. Until recently, such words had no place in business. That is changing. Today, a growing number of companies comfortably embrace such terms. That is why we coined the phrase “firms of endearment,” or FoE. Quite simply, an FoE is a company that endears itself to stakeholders by bringing the interests of all stakeholder groups into strategic alignment. No stakeholder group benefits at the expense of any other stakeholder group, and each prospers as the others do.”

Rajendra Sisodia, Jagdish N Sheth, and David Wolfe, Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose


“We suspect that the best-kept secret of successful leaders is love: being in love with leading, with the people who do the work, with what their organization produce, and with those who honor the organization by using its work. Leadership is an affair of the heart, not of the head.”

Barry Posner and James M Kouzes, The Leadership Challenge: How to Keep Getting Extraordinary Things Done in Organizations


“These organizations make outsized profits without using profit as a purpose or even a starting point in planning efforts. They practice what John Kay has termed ‘obliquity’ — achieving a goal, such as profits, by concentrating on the things that produce profits. They achieve extraordinary results by concentrating on values-based strategies.”

James Heskett, The Culture Cycle: How to Shape the Unseen Force that Transforms Performance


“If a for-profit entity is only profit seeking, then you’re not going to be a long-term profitable company.”

 Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft


“Purpose is a unifying statement of the commercial and social problems a business intends to profitably solve for its stakeholders. This statement encompasses both goals and duties, and it succinctly communicates what a business is all about and who it’s intended to benefit.”

Ranjay Gulati, Deep Purpose: The Heart and Soul of High-Performance Companies