By @SimonCocking review of People With Purpose: How Great Leaders Use Purpose to Build Thriving Organizations by author and coach Kevin Murray. Available from Amazon here.

This book is about how great leaders can make purpose the beating heart of their organization and use it to power performance. Leaders who communicate a defined mission, alongside clear and genuine values, allow their employees to feel a sense of purpose in their roles and embody their company’s vision. This inspires engagement, loyalty and higher performance. People with Purpose brings together a wide range of compelling research into how having a clearly defined purpose as part of business strategy is a vital element in business success, longevity and inspired teams.

This book is reflective of a wider trend we are seeing in many of the books we are currently receiving to review. The challenges of what work is, means to us, and will mean to us, are currently changing rapidly. Many CEOs of traditional corporations still expect their workers to simply turn up to work and be content to punch in their time. However more and more studies show that their own employees actually want and expect far more than this. This expectation you might expect in new millenial hires, but it is actually something that far more of the workforce are also coming to expect. If your job has no meaning for you then why should you do any more than the bare basics, to take that pay check and live the rest of your life.

Murray’s book illustrates the economic and performance related reasons why ensuring your company has a clear sense of purpose driven strategies will help result in higher levels of productivity, staff happiness and lower turn over rates. It may seem intuitive that it makes sense to create a work atmosphere where your staff believe in, and care about the work and mission of your company – and yet we have probably all worked in places where that has not always been the reality. This book marshals it’s arguments well, and explains how  creating purpose has good business benefits as well as wider human happiness benefits too.

One final thought though is that while all of this makes sense. It also seems symptomatic of the wider challenge for the corporate work environment to create a compelling reason for people to want to remain working for them. Instead of individuals going it alone and leaving the company to find their true sense of purpose, and potentially drastically improving their sense of purpose and work / life balance.


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