6 Ways to Find Business Objectives That Motivate You and Your Team

Today more than ever, the evidence is clear that businesses need to find and communicate a purpose beyond making a profit to ensure customer engagement and drive results in the marketplace.

In my work with entrepreneurs, I have concluded that finding and communicating that purpose is often more important than the proposed solution.

For example, TOMS shoes inspired everyone by highlighting and effectively communicating a higher purpose of founder Blake Mykoski to help those in need by donating one pair of shoes for every pair sold. He found that the return far exceeded the cost of the donated shoes, and his team became highly loyal because of the opportunity to travel to other countries and distribute the shoes.

I got real insight into this strategy with Specific Sources of Inspiration in a new book, leading by heart, by John Baird and Edward Sullivan. The authors based this on their decades of experience building companies and executive coaching, and in the context of real cases and business leaders.

I summarize here the motives and motivations that have inspired current business leaders with insights from my own mentoring and coaching experience. I challenge each of you to find the purpose that will take your business, your team and your customers to the next level.

1. Driven by a desire to leave a lasting legacy.

I have encountered many business leaders whose real purpose was to create a positive personal legacy, such as research into a cure for a difficult disease. But, they failed to disclose the intention of their team and constituents. I urge you to share your objective early and highlight it in every strategy.

Perhaps a more important legacy to your team is how you treat them in business. Make it your purpose to leave a legacy as an ideal leader and it will live on for years. With continued positive influences on staff meetings, presentations and around the water cooler.

2. Challenge yourself to deliver technological innovation.

Many technologists have a passion for new technology, but few are able to communicate value in terms of its future impact on society. For example, Elon Musk has been able to achieve the success of SpaceX on a large scale by linking mankind’s future efforts to travel to other planets.

3. Take the opportunity to travel and learn internationally.

Your objective may be purely to enhance your own lifestyle, but it also needs to inform your team and be highlighted in your strategic guidance. Everyone needs to understand what motivates you, and how they can help you achieve your objective. People need to see you as a person.

For Lyft’s Logan Green, his international travel purpose inspired him to build and grow an industry-changing business. By finding new perspectives, he was able to redefine the business model and meet customer needs in new and ingenious ways.

4. Driven to alleviate personal hardship and suffering.

Many of us have lost a loved one, or have suffered personally, due to the ravages of cancer or some other life-threatening disease. If your business is health-technology related, I urge you to share it with your team and customers and ask for their help rather than relying on profitability, price and process.

Also, no matter what your current difficulty or suffering is, it is important that you continue to believe that whatever you are going through will help you grow a lot, and that is the purpose in business. As you progress, so will your team and customers.

5. Meet the fulfillment requirement of individual lifestyle.

Many of the most successful fashion and even dating outfits were built around a leader with the aim of personal dedication to a more fulfilling lifestyle. You can see it on the internet today. People who dominate social media as influencers drive customers to new trends and brands.

6. Accept the challenge of sharing a unique gift and skill.

We all have unique strengths, such as design skills, or getting along well with others. I urge you to assess yourself, and listen to friends and mentors, to find and uncover a purpose that you may not have even seen in yourself. Sharing with customers is much more effective than sales and marketing.

Every business leader and customer I know can tell when you or someone on your team has no purpose–they’re just doing one thing today or are out for themselves. Over time an objective is more enduring, inspires better service, reinforces values, and increases performance. Be a role model to everyone around you by finding your purpose and communicating it to the rest of us.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.