Published on Fast Company
Over the past decade, leaders in business, education, and the social sector have become more interested in the development of purpose. Leading social entrepreneurship incubator Echoing Green hosted a movement-building Purpose Summit, the John Templeton Foundation sponsored a nationwide scholarship program to encourage youth to write purpose-inspired college essays, and the AARP began a big push to encourage “encore” purpose-focused second careers. Despite this increased focus on purpose, our organizations are sorely lacking leaders who are aware of and deeply connected to the purpose behind their work.
We believe this is in part because our culture conflates being mission-oriented with being purpose-driven. A mission is the what you’re trying to accomplish, and a purpose is the why.