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President's Message
The Importance of Purpose

by Travis Hunerdosse, PharmD, MBA, ICHP President

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce the importance of purpose.  When you identify with purpose, you can find ways to elevate yourself.  The team will elevate when individuals align with a purpose.  As an organization, we come together to elevate our profession by having a shared vision and purpose.  Purpose is inspiration that connects with the heart and motivates elevation.


When people connect with a higher purpose, they feel they are making a difference and have a sense of meaning.  They perform to their full potential, make commitments, and are engaged.  People and teams that are aligned with purpose are willing to go above and beyond.  They are focused, motivated, collaborative and innovative.  This leads to overall improvements in engagement and performance.


A framework for building a purpose driven team includes eight steps.  These steps offer a fresh approach to motivation and performance.


Envision an inspired workforce.  An uninspired workforce puts forth enough effort to complete what is asked of them and collect a paycheck.  Changing the paradigm by leading with purpose inspires others to take pride in their work.  Seek out positive examples in a person or group, determine what drives excellence and imagine that energy spreading out to other individuals and the entire team.

Discover the purpose.  You cannot create a higher purpose because it already exists in individuals and teams.  You can discover this by connecting with what drives you as an individual or understanding the common needs of your team.  Discovery of purpose happens by asking provocative questions, reflecting and listening.


Recognize the need for authenticity.  Your purpose needs to be your own and not borrowed from someone else or forced upon the team.  Purpose must be a shared belief in something bigger than yourself and your team.  An authentic purpose will be at the center of decision-making and drive positive outcomes.


Deliver a constant message.  When you deliver a consistent and authentic message, people recognize your commitment.  People around you will start to believe and share that same purpose.


Stimulate professional development and learning.  I have talked much this year about the importance of continual professional development and learning as part of elevating yourself and the team.  Learning and development are important incentives to people because we all want to think, learn and grow in our roles.           


Create purpose driven leaders.  Think about yourself as a purpose driven leader by being able to tell a story that demonstrates your personal identity and professional purpose.  Find this story through creating your own statement of purpose.  If you are leading a team, have your team discuss their own personal statements of purpose. 


Connect with the purpose.  Once you have defined the purpose, you and your team need to be able to connect with it.  It’s about capturing one’s passion and applying that to your day-to-day activities.  Once that connection is made, individuals will demonstrate pride in their work, be more productive and increase engagement.


Identify and empower positive energizers.  Positive energizers are those individuals that are go-to people for fresh ideas, leading change and taking initiative.  These are the people who inspire others around them and are trusted.  Reach out and engage this group to share ideas and gather information.  Positive energizers are a great resource to spread enthusiasm and drive higher performance in the people around them.


Connecting with a higher sense of meaning and purpose pushes you and your team to grow.  Individuals are willing to go the extra mile and are dedicated to performing at the top of their game.  Think about the concept of purpose.  Take a moment to find your purpose and create your own statement.  Define your personal identity and professional purpose.  While purpose may seem like a lofty proposition, once discovered it will lead you though difficult times, tough decisions and provide the inspiration you need to stay at the top of your game.


Reference:  Quinn, R.E., Thakor, A.V.  Creating a purpose-driven organization. HBR. July-August, 2018. pg 79-85.


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