Daily Lab: Where purpose comes from

How is your purpose demonstrated?

Daily Lab: Where purpose comes from

“Purposes are deduced from behavior, not from rhetoric or stated goals.”
—Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems

When a giant company tells us they care while making us wait on hold, we can easily pick apart the mismatch between their stated purpose and their real one.

But what about when it’s us?

When I think about the stated purpose of my business, it’s to help entrepreneurs get what they want by demonstrating their value at a distance.

But if I look at what I do all day, is it true that all of my activities are in service of that purpose?

Or am I doing other things that might pull me away from it?

What about you?

What’s the stated purpose of your business? And if an outside observer watched what you did all day—would they be able to guess what your purpose is?

Would they guess right?

Purposes are deduced from behavior, not statements, as Meadows said.

So, what would someone deduce from yours?

Whatever they’d deduce, that’s your purpose.

Let’s make sure it’s the one we want.

By focusing more on demonstrating our value—our purpose—at a distance, no matter what kind of business we’re in.

Read more: Don’t promise benefits

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