Purpose-driven work produces 10x results

Purpose-driven team members produce 10x results

“There are a few leaders who choose to inspire rather than manipulate in order to motivate people.”

Simon Sinek

David was walking through security at the wafer factory. ‘Another boring day, doing the same thing in the same way, he was thinking and sighed as he clocked in for working day number 2091. At least the salary is ok – he was trying to insert a positive thought in between the bombardment of negativity.

David was trying to avoid the production manager as he was hammering on one of the quarterly objectives of reducing quality rejections, but he was out of luck, he basically walked into a surprise ‘stand-up’ meeting that the same production manager arranged.

Something was different, the production manager had a huge smile on his face and his eyes were beaming with energy:

‘Yes as expected I will remind you of our critical objectives for this quarter and the supporting key results, but there is something that I need to share….

I thought long and hard about why we are asking for more effort from you as a team. One thing that I have always been very proud of is the number of jobs we create in this community. It goes deeper than that, for every job we create we are feeding and empowering a family.

Adding meaning to work

We currently have over eleven thousand employees across all shifts, which means this company is feeding eleven thousand families in this community. That goes beyond just paying salaries, that is real micro-economic impact, that is real societal impact. This is a critical purpose.

That is the real purpose of our work, we feed families, we send kids to school. That is why I come to work, that is why I carry love in my heart for what I do. That gives me the energy to go after objectives and key results because when we actualize them we are feeding more families while we keep our customers happy”.

David’s natural and initial instinct was to create a mental shield of negativity – “ Just words to manipulate us, just give me my salary”, was the mental chatter that went on in his mind. Yet today was different, the production managers’ words were sincere, and it was true now that David thought about it, this company feeds eleven thousand families, and yes, that is something to be proud of.

The production manager lowered his voice as the emotion-laden words rolled off his tongue – ‘So we are not reducing quality rejections just to save cost. NO! We are reducing quality rejections so that the eleven thousand families that we feed can be proud of what we stand for. Quality is a family principle.

With those words, the energy in the room lifted in a tangible way. A sense of purpose was collectively felt. David saw firsthand that purpose-driven teams produce much better results.

This drove David to not only find more meaning at work but also in his life in general.

Join our inspiring OKR courses in order to practically apply purpose-driven work to achieve Objectives and key results:

View our course calendar for several OKR learning options

Combatting negativity

On average, human beings have between 50 000 and 70 000 thoughts per day of which 70% are negative. To inspire teams and to encourage and foster a positive growth culture, a strong purpose, vision, and shared value system is needed as a foundation to steer team members away from negativity.

Stretch goals such as OKR frameworks are by definition tough to achieve and the degree of difficulty increases when team members become negative and de-motivated. The strongest antidote to negativity is purpose-driven work.

Along with building skills, and learning culture, purpose-driven work forms a potent combination for achieving objectives and key results.

Having a strong future vision underpinned by purpose-fuelled intensity forms a cradle for objectives and key results to be nurtured.

Read the following Harvard business review to explore authenticity of the purpose:


Talent Development Director of the OKR Institute