How Purpose Aids Memory and Drives Performance

I have the attention span of a squirrel on steroids.

I get lost in thought and forget what I’m supposed to remember.

The great idea I’m thinking right now is being pushed out by the next great idea. If I don’t quickly write it down, it’s gone forever. I think I’ve forgotten all my best ideas.

Purpose aids memory and drives performance:

You can’t perform when you forget what you’re doing.

I had a 7 a.m. meeting with a CIO yesterday morning. As I left the house, my wife said, “If you want toast with breakfast, bring home a loaf of bread.”

Surprisingly, I remembered to bring home the bread. Why? Toast makes me happy. I didn’t bring home bread. I brought home toast.

Bread is a thing. Toast suggests purpose. 

Purpose drives performance.

4 ‘What’ questions that lead to purpose driven leadership:

  1. What need are you solving?
  2. What value are you adding?
  3. What aspiration are you meeting?
  4. What behaviors fill you with gratitude?

4 ‘How’ questions that lead to purpose driven leadership:

  1. How are you delivering happiness?
  2. How are you enabling connection and strengthening relationships?
  3. How are you developing and maximizing human potential?
  4. How are you making the world a better place?

4 “Why’ questions that lead to purpose driven leadership?

  1. Why are we really doing this? Why are we really having a meeting, for example?
  2. Why does this activity/service/product matter to customers?
  3. Why did you get up today?
  4. Why are you reading this blog post?

My wife helped me bring home the bread by skillfully connecting task with purpose.

How might you connect purpose to today’s tasks?