2The Rediscovery of Purpose

This chapter will help you understand the key role of purpose in today’s work. As we’ll see later, meaningful purposes are a foundation for worker engagement and self-management.

To begin, let’s take a moment to consider the nature of work itself.

What Is Work, Anyway?

I invite you to take a moment to examine your own assumptions about work. Work is made up of tasks. What words or phrases come to mind when you try to define what a task is? If that is too general of a question, then pick a specific task your work team performs and think about how you would describe it to a new team member.

I’ve learned that there are two very different ways of answering that question. The first way reflects the traditional, activity-centered ...

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