How to Bring the Power of Purpose into Daily Practice

Managers complain that they don’t have time to monitor and manage their team’s energy. Yet, when their car gets close to “E”, they take time to fuel up.

Short-sighted managers care more about fueling cars than energizing people.

You refill the car when the gauge reads low.  So why are the tanks on your team pointing to “E”?

Remarkable progress requires extraordinary energy.

When managers don’t have time to inspire their teammates, their team eventually runs on empty. Yes, there are some people who go like the energizer bunny. But most of us are real human beings, not bunnies.

Purpose is energy.

Suppose you’re teaching little Wilma to swing a bat so she can hit the ball. Ask, “Why do you want to hit the ball?”

Wilma might say, “So I can get to first base.”

Adopt the language of purpose to energize people.

Talk about getting to first base when teaching Wilma to hit the ball. “Let’s work on getting to first base.”

Suppose you’re teaching little Fred to swing the bat. Ask, “Why do you want to hit the ball?”

Fred says, “So I can hit a home-run and hear the crowd cheer.”

Talk about cheering crowds when teaching Fred to hit the ball. “Let’s work on hearing the crowd cheer.”

Ask your teammates why they come to work.

  • Buying a new car.
  • Saving for the college fund.
  • Providing a product our customers love to buy.

Words are rudders. Teams move in the direction of their conversations.


  • Great work saving for little Barney’s college fund today.
  • Let’s go make some widgets that people love to buy.
  • Hey Betty, I can almost smell that new car.

Purpose fuels energy. What other ways might managers energize teams?

Acknowledgement: Managers that don’t have time to inspire their teams are often driven by – results only – upper management.

Don’t miss Saturday’s post: The Amazing Power of Being Valued by Others and the Path to Get There