Sense of Purpose Drives Successful Careers and Organizations

Aedhmar Hynes speaking at Future Leaders Showcase

Aedhmar Hynes speaking at Future Leaders Showcase

Text 100 CEO Aedhmar Hynes presented what many described as the equivalent of a Commencement address during last week’s fourth annual Future Leaders Showcase at DePaul University.

Well known for being an advocate and builder of purpose-driven organizations, Aedhmar’s passion is reflected in her remarks below:

A purpose defines the why of a company. Why it does business. The decisions it makes. An understanding of those decisions in the context of the marketplace and society.

It creates a company where stakeholders are treated as partners. Where “social responsibility” isn’t a department, but a core value. Where everyone from the CEO down understands that the value of the brand lies in how it acts, in whether what it does matches what it says.

In other words, its purpose is not to make a profit. Rather, it earns that profit by fulfilling its purpose in service to its customers and the larger community.  But why is this more important today than it’s ever been?  Well today we have an emerging generation of people who make conscious based decisions.  Will I buy a product from a company that manufactures its products in countries that have questionable labor laws?  Do I want to work in an organization that presents itself in one way but treats its employees and acts in a very different way?   Unlikely.

But what I’ve started to think about of late, and I wanted to talk to you about today is whether it’s possible to apply those same principles to yourself. To build a purpose-driven career – one that will be both fulfilling to you as an individual, and will help accomplish the purpose of whatever organization or company you join, tomorrow or two decades from now.

I believe everyone should act with purpose in every aspect of their lives. Whatever you do should be an extension of who you are, and who you want to become. Wherever you choose to work and apply your education, talents and creativity should be an extension of that individual purpose…align with your values… so that you do something you believe in.

I believe having a purpose-driven career is important in any profession.

In communications – I believe a purpose-driven career is essential.

Because as communicators, you have a special opportunity. An opportunity that did not exist even ten years ago.

You will be in a position to be the most important and powerful agent of change wherever you work. You will have that power not just on the inside of your organization, or in the marketplace, but you will have the power to affect the society we all share.

Purpose-driven tweets trend thanks to #PRADFutureLeaders crowd

Purpose-driven tweets trend thanks to #PRADFutureLeaders crowd

I realize that may seem an extraordinary statement…or you may think I’m giving the usual rhetoric about the great place you’re about to assume in the world. But the fact is, this is the most extraordinary time in history to be in our profession. Thanks to how technology has changed the way we communicate, what we do is now of paramount importance inside every organization…institution…or government agency. With the rise of social media, the Internet, YouTube, mobile devices, universal Wi-Fi…we can get information or engage in conversations with anyone, anytime…across the street or on the other side of the world…in an instant. We are able to create new and vibrant communities that transcend physical boundaries…and those communities command our trust, guide our decisions, drive our purchases, and form our opinions about the world.

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