When Gerry Anderson first became the president of DTE Energy, he did not believe in the power of higher organizational purpose.
We’re not talking about having a clear mission that focuses largely on how a business will generate economic value. DTE had one that set out the goal of creating long-term gains for shareholders, and Anderson understood its importance.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain
Over the past five years, there’s been an explosion of interest in purpose-driven leadership. Academics argue persuasively that an executive’s most important role is to be a steward of the organization’s purpose. Business experts make the case that purpose is a key to exceptional performance, while psychologists describe it as the pathway to greater well-being.
Everyone aspires to have purpose or meaning in their career but how do you actually do that? What practical steps can you take today or this month to make sure you’re not just toiling away at your desk but you’re doing something you genuinely care about?