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Why I’m Here: The Power of Purpose

July 30, 2015 Matt Norquist

Recently, I found myself talking with my sons about purpose. I asked them, “What are you here for?” After a little explaining, I was confident that they understood the basics of what I meant by mission and purpose. I wanted to hear what they felt they were uniquely able to do. After some predictable answers from my 10- and 8-year-olds, my 5-year-old, Jack, confidently proclaimed, “Dad, obviously I am here to eat the ice cream at 16 Handles.”

Clearly, he got it!

Jack, with the clarity that only kids can muster, made me laugh about my serious question, but also caused me to rethink long-term and momentary purpose.

One week into my job as CEO at Linkage, I’ve been taking a page out of Jack’s book—remembering that sometimes purpose is a lifelong pursuit, but other times purpose is momentary.

At Linkage, my larger purpose is to amplify the impact we have on increasing the performance of leaders around the world. But without adding “in the moment” purpose, this is just a vague idea.

Here are five areas of momentary purpose at Linkage:

  1. Strengths – Figuring out what we can do better than our peers and rivals. One of the things that attracted me to Linkage was the rich intellectual property we have, based on our work with thousands of companies over the last 25 years.
  2. Complementary Experience – Our capability to connect the dots from a multitude of Linkage thought leaders allows us to develop strategies and plans to accelerate the development of leaders at organizations around the world.
  3. Learning Journey – Learning from each of my team members what they are uniquely able to add to our organizational sweet spot. All the organizational aspiration in the world falls flat if individuals on a team aren’t self-motivated with that drive.
  4. Determining – Developing – Delivering – Seamlessly providing what our clients need to improve leadership performance in their organizations and to solve their business challenges.
  5. Growing a Business – Building all of this on the required foundation of growing a profitable business.

Easy, right? Much of the hard and rewarding work in achieving purpose happens behind the scenes; but here’s a peek at three key next steps:

  • Having many conversations with team members and clients, building on my curiosity about what makes individuals and organizations tick
  • Setting a mid- to long-term vision that is compelling enough to get team members and customers excited to work together on that path
  • Establishing simple frameworks to deliver on this direction and delight our partners and clients

So…why am I here? Ultimately, it is about going out to win every game we are in—and viewing each day as a chance to prepare and practice so that we can win these games. And, hopefully, to achieve a sense of both momentary and long-term purpose—whether you are charting a course for a company, or simply enjoying an ice cream with your kids.

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