As 2005 quickly approaches its final chapter, I have been thinking a lot about my goals and plans for 2006. In doing so, I have found myself spellbound by the concept of living on purpose.
I recently read Al Stubblefield’s new book, The Baptist Health Care Journey to Excellence: Creating a Culture That WOWs! (Wiley 2005), a book I highly recommend regardless of your industry. It’s an amazing story of how Stubblefield, the CEO of Baptist, inspired an entire workforce to embrace a new mission, to envision a desire to be the best health care system in North America, and to commit to service excellence. He inspired his employees to come to work everyday “on purpose.”
What is so amazing about this mission is that at the time they set this “big hairy audacious goal,” or as Jim Collins refers to it in his book Built To Last (HarperBusiness 2002) as BHAG, Baptist was ranked as one of the worst hospitals in our country. Its patient satisfaction ratings were at an all-time low and its employees were miserable too. Yet, in fewer than three years, Baptist Hospital successfully completed a cultural transformation. Today, it continues to maintain its position as one of the highest ranked hospitals in our nation for service, employee satisfaction and quality.
How did they do it? By defining and reworking their mission and vision statement to achieve a common purpose. But, how can you be more effective in your business and also expect your customers, employees and co-workers to embrace your mission if you’re not sure what it is or how to define it? As you begin to prepare for 2006, I would encourage you to ask yourself this defining question, “Who are you?”
Perfecting Connecting® Action Steps:
1. Why do you exist? What is your mission, or better yet, your passion? Why did you choose your profession/business in the first place? And what were the dreams you had when you first started?
2. Who are you striving to become? What is your vision? Do you have a BHAG (big, hairy audacious goal)? Is your ambition so big that it would take a lifetime to possibly achieve it?
3. What guides your everyday behavior? What are your values? What beliefs or principles guide your daily existence? Moreover, who are you?
Anyone who desires to live on purpose must answer these questions. Stubblefield encourages you to contemplate a vision statement for your company that is beyond what seems rational. What vision could you place before yourself, and your employees, that would persuade you to be the best you can be? If you set a lofty goal and then fall short, you will still have a lot to celebrate. But, if you hide behind the security of simple, easily attainable goals, you will never know what amazing things you and your employees could have accomplished.
I dare to dream big: Experience the power of living on purpose. And… here’s to a great and prosperous 2006!