When you hire with a Noble Purpose, you gain power. The power to innovate, grow, succeed, and more. I had a recent dialogue with the creator of the “Noble Purpose” concept and strategy, author and consultant Lisa Earle McLeod. Here’s what she had to say on why it’s important to hire with a Noble Purpose.
Scott: First, let’s define Noble Purpose for those who’ve not yet read your two books on the topic. What is it? And why is it important for a leader to have a Noble Purpose for themselves and for their organization?
Lisa: A Noble Purpose is a clear and succinct statement about the impact your organization has on customers. It’s the jumping off point for a strategic initiative that includes every facet of your organization.
It’s not enough to say, “We want to be ethical, provide value and make money while we’re doing it.” That kind of milk toast messaging doesn’t provide direction for employees, nor does it create competitive differentiation. A Noble Purpose is specific and customer focused.
Some examples from our clients:
Flight Center – We care about delivering amazing travel experiences
Roche – We do now what patients need next
Hootsuite – WE empower our clients to turn messages into meaningful relationships.
Your Noble Purpose is the lynchpin for competitive differentiation and emotional engagement. It defines who you are and what you stand for. It’s a rallying cry for your team and the jumping off point for strategy, process improvement, and daily decision-making.
Scott: What’s the connection between leading with a Noble Purpose and effective hiring?
Lisa: When you have a Noble Purpose, you have a North Star for all of your decisions, and you have a common language you share inside your organization. Having clarity around this purpose, it becomes easier to see who and who is not a fit with your organization.
When you share your purpose with a prospective candidate, look closely at their reaction. If they’re not excited about, or at least interested in, the impact you have on customers, they might not be a good fit. You can teach skills, you can teach product knowledge, you can teach process. You can’t teach motivation. Sharing your noble purpose gives you a clear litmus test on cultural fit. It puts a rationale behind gut intuition of “something doesn’t fit.”
Scott: How can organizations be intentional with their Noble Purpose, leveraging it to elevate the caliber of talent they attract?
Lisa: If you have a Noble Purpose, you need to share widely. People who are emotionally engaged in their job will not look for another job. People who are not engaged in their work and who are searching to be engaged are great potential candidates. The clear thing purpose does for you is weed out people who are lethargic or who only want the paycheck. Your passion tells low performers, “this is not the place for you.”
The other piece of talent attraction is this: the people in your office. A recent study revealed that employees who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations. They also encourage their friends and family to join the company as well. They become your ambassadors. Noble Purpose enables you to attract better people, and you’ll manage to keep the talented people you already have.
Scott: You know that I’m an advocate of fast and accurate hiring, which is the topic of my forthcoming book from McGraw-Hill. In the context of Noble Purpose, why is faster hiring important?
Lisa: The more you draw out the hiring process, the greater the cost to your organization, as you note in your book. Time spent with bad candidates is time not spent fulfilling an organization’s Noble Purpose. Noble Purpose provide a lens on hiring that makes the hiring process faster, and more accurate in the long term.
Scott: What’s one final piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers?
Lisa: You can’t spreadsheet your way to passion. If you want to accelerate revenue growth, enjoy your life more, and attract top talent, the secret is emotional engagement.
Financial incentives provide short-term results at best; long-term growth requires a motivated team who is excited about improving the lives of your customers. When I work with clients to define their Noble Purpose, we look at their value proposition, what makes them different, and basically, why anyone would care about their business. People want to make money; they also want to make a difference.
Lisa Earle McLeod is a sales leadership expert and bestselling author. To learn more about her, her books, and her consultancy, visit her company’s website.