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The Future-Proof Workplace by Marshall Goldsmith, Morag Barrett, Linda Sharkey

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Chapter 4PurposeNavigating Turbulent Waters

Those who spend their lives searching for happiness never find it, while those who search for meaning, purpose, and strong personal relationships find that happiness usually comes to them as a by-product of those three things.

—Nido R. Qubein, President of High Point University

Remember the good old days when the first thing you had to do as a leader was create a mission statement so employees and customers understood the business that you were in?

Then you had to have a great vision statement, often bordering on science fiction and designed to draw the company and its people forward.

Then the next step was to create yearly goals to move toward the vision. Dashboards to track the goals were a must, and the years churned on and on in that fashion.

Just about every company in the developed world employed these tools and techniques. Consultants and teams spent days and weeks trying to craft just the right statements. These statements often became long and unwieldy, lacking any emotional inspiration for anyone!

The irony was that these statements were supposed to be marketplace differentiators. They were supposed to excite customers and energize employees. And these meager phrases were intended to guide the daily activities of a work group, and an entire company, throughout the year. All work and performance would be measured against them. And yet, no one could ever remember them.

We could wrap our companies, and our work, with nice, ...

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