An uncommon way to create common-unity amongst your leaders
“All great change starts with a conversation, preferably over a dining-room table not a board-room table, for when we enter into communion with each other over fine food and fine wine, anything is possible.”
Ever since Larry Fink, CEO and Chairman of BlackRock, sent out his annual letter to CEO’s earlier this year, Purpose has been the topic of conversation around boardroom tables everywhere. Leaders are now asking the existential questions; Why do we actually exist beyond making a profit? How are we being better for the world, not just the best in the world? How do we unite all stakeholders around a common higher Purpose so that everyone prospers?
If you’re stepping into the deep work of unearthing a higher Purpose in your company, the first and most important task is to create common-unity amongst your leaders.
For many of us, Purpose is new and scary territory as it requires the courage to get honest with ourselves, and each other. It requires us to share what truly matters to us – in our home lives, in our work lives, in our company and in the world-at-large. An exploration of Purpose requires a deeply thoughtful, conversational approach in a safe place of neutrality where people are stripped of rank and title and feel able to fully express themselves and be heard.
It can be difficult to find common-unity on Purpose around a boardroom table as it often lacks the neutral conditions required for authentic communication and communion. That’s why I recommend the dining room table instead. A beautiful evening meal in a private dining room at a fine restaurant, makes a powerful platform from which to have the conversations that matter. And these conversations must extend beyond the Purpose of your company towards personal Purpose and how we each bring our own unique why to work, no matter our role or title. (I call this BYO Purpose.)
I believe many companies are getting their Purpose initiatives gravely wrong, that Purpose is being treated as just another marketing campaign, culture program or CSR initiative. My belief is that you only get one chance, and that Purpose requires a pioneering approach. It can’t be treated as a ‘program’, something that is ‘done’ to people. It needs to become a ‘movement’, something your people are intrinsically motivated to join.
For this to happen, you first need to slow down a little and invest in educating and engaging your leaders before jumping into activating and applying Purpose. I want your leaders to learn everything they can about it, to become the stewards of Purpose and be wicked role models themselves first and lead by example.
And, Deep Dinners on Purpose are the perfect way to get started by creating common-unity amongst your leaders. I’ve successfully facilitated many Deep Dinners across the USA and Australia with entrepreneurs and corporate leaders alike. It’s my desire to facilitate these Deep Dinners with boards and leadership teams everywhere in order to give you the best possible start to create a ‘Purpose movement’ in your company.