Foster a culture of purpose, direction and accountability

Marcus Straub
Marcus Straub

Today, businesses across the nation and around the world will conduct operations, serve customers, generate revenues and earn profits — or not. Tomorrow, these same companies and their teams of professional and loyal workers will do it all over again.

There’s a real difference, however, between simply going through the motions and engaging customers with passion, intention, enthusiasm and integrity. It’s a difference that has lasting effects on customer satisfaction and the bottom line.

The starting point to a more enlivened, satisfying and successful business operation is having a collective purpose. Purpose is not what a company does or even how it does it. A clearly defined purpose is a statement of why a company and its team do what they do every day. It’s their reason for being. A simply stated, yet profound, company purpose is the most powerful of all and the easiest for team members to commit to memory and pursue.

When team members know why they exchange nearly half their waking life for a paycheck and their work aligns with their core values or motivation, buy-in, enthusiasm, job satisfaction and work quality all increase exponentially.

It’s been proven time and again: People are happier when they have a cause in which to believe and become a part. When what they do is infused with value and meaning, the teams they’re a part of are far more effective.

Additionally, a business that has clearly defined its direction — and then shares that direction with an aligned team — will reach and even exceed its goals on a consistent basis. For these companies, forward progress is a given.

A powerful analogy would be a successful sea voyage to uncharted territory. For these historic explorers to have been successful in reaching new lands and expanding our knowledge of the world, a clearly stated purpose and defined direction had to be in place. They had to know where it was they intended to go. On top of that, it was imperative the entire crew be excited about the purpose and willing to go in the same direction as the ship’s captain. When these critical factors — purpose and direction — didn’t exist, the experience proved to be unsavory, and the desired outcome was never realized.

Team accountability is the third side of this success triangle. When built into the tasks and projects of the team from the beginning, accountability is far more effective in reaching goals, moving forward and fulfilling purpose than accountability that comes after the fact. Just as teams need a clearly defined purpose and direction to which they can ascribe, they also require clearly defined objectives and parameters for the completion of tasks and projects critical to business success.

Errors are reduced and results improve significantly when clarity is built into the delegation of tasks and projects from the outset. As team members learn to work together in the process of clearly communicating the objectives and parameters necessary to accomplishing action steps and larger goals and then positively support each other’s forward progress, they become nearly unstoppable. Simply stated, above-average companies are proactive with their accountability, while average businesses are not.

Teams with a clearly defined and mutually agreed upon purpose, established goals that support a chosen direction and a culture of constructive accountability that creates positive customer experiences build loyalty, support to the company mission and drive revenues that equate to long-term business success.

As a business owner, where do you think all of this begins and ends?

If you answered “with me,” then you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of those business owners who believe the buck stops with others first. You’re positioned to take the next step. By working with a professional coach and trainer, you can put all of these vital components into place — or develop them further if they already exist —in your business.

Rather than creating a company where team members just go through the motions and collect a paycheck every two weeks because they lack purpose, direction and accountability, build a business powered by people who are inspired. Foster an environment that instills a deep sense of purpose, communicates direction and creates accountability to work together to achieve greatness.

The sooner you and your team have a shared purpose, clear direction and come together to create a culture of accountability, the sooner you’ll set sail and arrive on the shores of greater happiness and success.