Are you a Purpose Maximizer or Profit Maximizer?
In light of the increased chatter on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, and traditional business magazines regarding employe engagement, I want to recall the video above from Dan Pink that highlights human motivations and the path it highlights towards employee engagement. While many consultants and practitioners offer a process or “how to” perspective on employee engagement, I want to share some thoughts inspired by design thinking on employee engagement. How can we genuinely connect humans to shared transformational goals through a better understanding of how we are intellectually and emotionally wired?
How do you create engagement with your employees, particularly within the context of a large scale transformation where you need people to think, act, and operate in a radically new way?
In the video, Dan Pink describes the research behind what he calls a “purpose maximizer” and “profit maximizer”. I see purpose maximizers as people who connect individual intentions, daily tasks, results, and shared relationships (aka culture) with the human desire of autonomy, mastery, and purpose. By enabling autonomy you tap into others desire to be trusted to operate successfully on their own. By enabling mastery you tap into others desire to feel confident in their ability to deliver on their tasks. By generating purpose, you connect your people to something other than themselves, a higher calling and reason for being in the world, hopefully the vision, mission values of your company, including and not limited to financial success or profit. To genuinely create employee engagement, and truly unleash your people to generate their highest impacts, you need to link your colleagues autonomy, mastery, and purpose with your shared transformational goals.
If you had to allocate 100% of your day to being a purpose or profit maximizer, what %s would you select as the ideal mix? As the actual mix? More importantly, how would your colleagues allocate your % as a purpose or profit maximizer?
The best leaders are purpose maximizers first and profit maximizers second because they inspire and motivate people by connecting the purpose of the individuals and teams in the company to the desired outcomes like profit, growth, efficiency, or effectiveness.
What can you do to generate 3-5% more purpose in your leadership style?