How to use purpose as a bouncer.

What I’ve been learning

I’ve been learning a lot this week about the use of a defined purpose in our work.

A clear, compelling purpose acts as a bouncer. It’s a filter and a tool. It helps you answer questions like: What should I do? What shouldn’t I do? Who should I invite? And who should I not invite?

Once you’re clear on your purpose and know your story, decisions come easy. (tweet this)

The Art of Gathering, by Priya Parker, centers on the idea that great events happen because they are clear about purpose. Once you know why you’re gathering, tactical decisions flow. A purpose should be specific and disputable.

This applies well beyond events. I use this concept in my work helping teams build products, restructure teams, and develop new services. Understanding Why is of utmost importance in a world of change where imagination is a key differentiator (vs the outdated worlds of industry or information)

But we don’t spend enough time deciding, redeciding, and socializing the purpose. It’s too easy for the purpose to be invisible. Like most communication, it is often assumed.

That’s why writing things down can be a superpower.

It works for product managers:

And writing down purpose can fuel your work as a parent, people manager, event planner, and others. Here are various formats of questions I find are helpful to write answers to:

  1. Why are we doing this? // What’s the purpose? // What triggered this? // What problem are we solving?

  2. What are we hoping to accomplish?

  3. Are we acting in a way that will get us what we really want?

Slowing down to answer or recalibrate on these questions is key if you want to go fast.

When things get tough, go from the what to the why. (tweet this)


What I published

Product teams need to be aligned (LinkedIn video)

The greatest legacies are built by those who see beyond the bottom line (LinkedIn video)


What have you been learning about?

Ryan

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