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Aligning your MY PURPOSE STATEMENT (STORY) with your organization(Part 3)

Updated: Mar 8

Having prepared your MY PURPOSE statement (story), it is now time to consider how the organization you work in (or are otherwise associated with as a student or volunteer) can provide you with the means for actualizing your sense of purpose. 

The Relationship of an individual to an organization

The Relationship of an individual to an organization
The Relationship of an individual to an organization

Firstly, let’s consider the relationship of individuals to organizations.  Whom works for whom?  The traditional way of thinking is that individuals labor for the organization and, in turn, are compensated for their time and efforts.  When companies have a set system of values, a mission statement or vision for the future, employees are expected to understand these expectations.  While this is an important first step, aligning your MY PURPOSE with your organization goes further than simple compliance with the corporate directive.  In fact, a focus on Purpose can empower you to consider how the organization works for you!

For the moment, put your MY PURPOSE aside and direct your attention to your organization. Spend some time reviewing any information that helps you to understand your organization’s mission, vision, values or other elements related to the very existence of your organization. 

Revealing what you appreciate about your organization

Once you objectively understand such information, ponder on this question: What do I appreciate about this organization? Recall what originally attracted you to this particular organization.  Even if the daily grind comes with a heaping of monotony and/or drudgery, what can you appreciate about the aspiration of the organization?  How does this organization make a contribution to stakeholders through its products, services and very existence?

looking at your organization through the metaphorical lens of your my purpose

looking at your organization through the metaphorical lens of your my purpose
looking at your organization through the metaphorical lens of your my purpose

Once you have found some elements within the organizational ethos that you can appreciate, let’s return to your MY PURPOSE statement (story).  Metaphorically look through the lens of your own MY PURPOSE glasses, consider this question: Where do I find overlap between my own MY PURPOSE and my organization’s raison d’etre?

What have you found?  In what ways is the impact statement within your MY PURPOSE in alignment with your organization’s? In what ways does this alignment support the actualization of what you want to contribute in your own life through the activities of your organization?  How do the resources of the organization (financial, physical, social, etc.) provide you with a foundation from which you can take action that is resonant with your MY PURPOSE while also being supportive of the goals of the organization?  In other words, how does your affiliation with this organization provide you the means to amplify the aspirations in your MY PURPOSE?

What if there is no overlap?

At this point, I hope that you have found some clear overlap between your MY PURPOSE and the organization.  In my work with leaders within companies, I have not (yet) encountered any individual who declares that there is no overlap.  But what should you do if this self-reflection provides no source of inspiration for your MY PURPOSE?  In this case, consider these questions:  (Time and energy) In what ways does the time spent laboring for this organization reduce the time and energy I have available for pursuing activities in alignment with MY PURPOSE?  (Finance) How, if at all, does the compensation I receive from this organization provide me with the means for pursuing activities in alignment with MY PURPOSE? 

identifying your accountability as a leader

Now, let’s consider the final step of this self-discovery inquiry.  Having identified the overlap between your MY PURPOSE and the organization, consider this: What is my accountability as a leader within this organization? 

By accountability, we refer to the sense of responsibility you take for your current work and your drive for increasing your influence hereafter.  By increasing your influence, you can increase your capacity for making an impact and thereby increase the actualization of your MY PURPOSE. 

What does your response to this question reveal about your aspirations within the organizational structure?  Or how you want to improve or develop relations with others, both internal and external stakeholders?  What can you say is the essential reason you stay affiliated with this particular organization now and into the future? 

in conclusion

How can I bring meaning to my life?
How can I bring meaning to my life?

It is said that we live in a VUCA world. In 2024 and beyond, we cannot discount the threats from ongoing war and climate change to our basic needs for food, shelter and safety. But at the same time, we are living in times of great abundance where concepts such as work-life balance give way to work-life integration. In these times, we have the liberty and capacity to take a meditative moment from time to time to consider the timeless question, “How can I bring meaning to my life?” 

It is my hope that this MY PURPOSE formulation process which I have described herein has given you the inspiration to clarify your answer to this question. Let me know your comments or questions. And if you would like to go further in this self-reflection by deepening your understanding and forwarding your action, this can be a relevant topic for our next coaching session together.

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