Clarity of purpose

In a Harvard Business Review blog article is the following paragraph:

“Dan tells a story about Clare Booth Luce, the playwright, journalist, and Republican Member of Congress. In 1962, Luce met with President Kennedy, who was, at the time, pursuing an ambitious agenda domestically and overseas. She worried about his diffuse priorities. “A great man,” she advised him, “is one sentence.” President Lincoln’s sentence was obvious: “He preserved the union and freed the slaves.” So was FDR’s: “He lifted us out of a great depression and helped us win a world war.” What, Luce challenged the young, impatient president, was to be his sentence?”

The author goes on to use this story as a reason for great companies needing their own version of this raison d’etre in a sentence. Yes, nice leap of faith, but what about the relevance of this for some of us as individual performers? What purpose do we want to be known for in our roles? Even though we may not be saving our country from depression or other such lofty achievements, there is a lot to be said for having clarity of purpose for individuals within a business or on a team. What would your sentence be? The clearer you can have this statement of intent, the easier it will be for you to keep yourself focused on what matters most for you. It will also be easier for you to keep making decisions and keep ensuring that you’re using your talents as effectively as possible. Simple, high level goal setting and then pooling your resources accordingly to achieve clarity of purpose. It could be a very simple but powerful exercise to carry out.

Some thoughts for a couple of people you might know…

Wayne Rooney – to lead Manchester United to consistent success with constant energy and ever improving goal scoring.

Sir Steve Redgrave – to know what it’s like to be in a position that on your worst day, you’re good enough to beat anyone else in the rest of the world.

Any suggestions of any other folks?