Of all the elements of loyalty, Purpose is the most misunderstood. We have all become conditioned to believe that having a purpose is about the pursuit of some noble cause or generous act when, in fact, it is simply about having a clear intent and a commitment to follow through.
Herb Kelleher’s mission when founding Southwest Airlines was to fly passengers from Point A to Point B in the safest, most efficient and affordable means possible. But his purpose was to create a workplace that was fun and had a sense of humor. That is why their flight attendants tell jokes and sing songs during the safety instructions, why they create goofy commercials, and why they paint their planes in bright, vibrant colors. Clear intent and a commitment to follow through.
Steve Jobs started Apple to make computer technology available to everyone. His purpose was to make that technology beautiful and well-crafted. That is why Jobs and the company he built obsess over even the smallest, unseen details like the layout of a circuit board, the packaging of a USB cable, and the text font used on their warranties. Clear intent and a commitment to follow through.
Yvon Chouinard’s mission when founding Patagonia Outdoor was to make the best outdoor clothing products, period. The company’s purpose was to help save the planet. That is why they sacrifice everything, including profits, to ensure that any damage they cause to the environment is kept to an absolute minimum. Clear intent and a commitment to follow through.
Have a Purpose beyond the exchange of money for services and beyond a mission statement. Make your intent crystal clear to every relationship you have. And then follow through in everything you do. Everything.