Purpose & Values


Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“What is the difference between purpose and values, and how do they get applied at work and at home? How do they get integrated?”

Well well, this is a simple question. We have a whole process that we use in our company to help organizations answer this very question.

So this is the way I look at it. I’m interested in what you think.

The way I look as this purpose is the reason you get up in the morning and live your life. It’s the thing like, for instance, in my life, I want to help as many people along the way as I possibly can. That’s my purpose. Our company’s purpose is to help leaders and others live better lives and be more productive. So that’s our purpose.

But we need some boundaries. We need some guardrails, we need some guiding principles that talk about how we do that. So for me, my core values are authenticity and excellence. And freedom, that kind of thing. So I know that if I’m going to help other people perform better and live better lives, I’m going to do that with certain guidelines or, I don’t want to say rules, but certain ways of living. If I have to be inauthentic, I’m not going to help you, or if I can’t be excellent at it. I’m going to be excellent. I’m going to have freedom.

And so to me, the purpose is the reason you get up in the morning and the values are sort of the guiding principles that help you achieve your purpose. Because, you know, values without purpose are helpful, but you don’t really have direction. But purpose without values can cause us to engage in or participate in behaviors that, in the worst case, could be illegal or unethical. And in the very best case, they’re not going to fulfill the reason we do what we do right. You got to have some guiding light. You got to have some principles in pursuit of what your purpose is.

The way you integrate those is that you filter everything that you do, your behaviors, your work, your relationships through those values and through that purpose. For instance, Mondays of Mike is a good example. I have to ask myself when I started Mondays with Mike years ago, does Mondays with Mike help other people
perform better, live better lives? I say it does, but you all know I’m pretty authentic. I’m pretty direct. We have excellent production. Marty does an amazing job of producing these. The editing is great. When it gets to the editorial studio, we do closed captioning. We do the what do you call that transcription as you’ve seen. So I don’t want to do it if we can’t do with excellence, right? I’m not sitting in, you know, in a bar somewhere in a smoky room doing it. That’s just the way I do it. Some people do. So I think that’s how you integrate it. You filter your decisions through your values and your purpose. Is this moving me toward or away from my purpose
and is it in alignment with my values? And you do it in little baby steps, right, in little baby steps.

I hope that’s helpful.

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