What is your Compelling Purpose Indicator?

16th November 2016

Gavin Preston

Be Inspired


Have you ever set targets for your business or had them set for you which either

  1. You were motivated by to start off with but after a number of set backs on the path to get them your enthusiasm for the goals was being drowned out by the fatigue; or
  2. No matter how hard you tried you couldn’t quite get excited about achieving the goal?

Yes we need targets. They focus our attention and our actions.

We know that often used management phrase “what gets measured gets done” but sometimes the targets we are being measured against leave us cold or uninspired at best.

Yesterday I was working with two of my Double Your Business clients on the strategy for their next 6 months of growth.

Nick, was giving himself a hard time as a big deal on which he had been working and which was due to start this month is now being postponed to January.   Not only will that decision by the customer of his customer (over which he had no control over) impact his results for this quarter, he was gutted.

The first point when we have a set back is to recognise that the path of our growth is not a nice steady upward line at our desired angle of growth.  The path has its ups and downs, twists and turns which over time takes to the desired outcome in terms of growth.

As long as we see the low points of those waves as the opportunities to learn what we can do to improve we can associate a positive and beneficial meaning to the set backs and use them to spur improvements, renewed effort that will deliver the growth.

Ryan Holliday in his book ‘The obstacle is the way” refers to this as adversarial growth or post traumatic growth.  i.e. it is our struggles that make us stronger, sharper, keener and shape us into the victor.

The second point, with respect to the set backs, is does the measure with which you are tracking progress compel you to take action?  For some, financial measures key performance indicators such as sales targets are a powerful motivator but for others, particularly those who have had set back after knock back, they can become empty numbers on a piece of paper or a spreadsheet.

To engage yourself, to call the very best of your skills, creativity, tenacity and brilliance you need a target or a measure that excites, engages and compels you to achieve it no matter the set backs.

Nick was demoralised about the set back due to the contract delay.

As a business, they provide temporary workers to their clients and in so doing provide work for people that otherwise may not be in work for that week.  When we started to explore what he and his team had achieved his wife and business partner immediately and brilliantly asked “How many families did we feed last week?

To which Nick replied “221”.

That brought a lump to my throat and apart from saying “Don’t ever give yourself a hard time when you have fed 221 families” we then immediately re-expressed all revenue targets for him and his team in terms of number of families they are going to feed.

I put a name to this measure: their Compelling Purpose Indicator.

And the realisation of their Compelling Purpose Indiciator had a powerful and profound effect on Nick.

He said there was now so much more meaning to the growth we’ve planned for.

Does your product or service put a smile on your customers; remove pain; make them feel great; treat them to intense taste pleasure as they eat your product; remove stress; save time etc etc.  Look at the difference your product or service is making to your customers and set a Compelling Purpose Indicator for yourself and your team.

Now that stuff that you measure and get done will be meaningful and make a difference and your whole team will be joining the movement of good people doing good things to make a positive difference.


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