Big Game Advisors

Ideas into Action

bright idea

Hi,

Welcome to the second of the new periodic (initially monthly) newsletters. Each newsletter will focus on one theme, today’s is:

Leading from Purpose

Putting Purpose first truly drives profit to allow you to further scale your impact.
Start to learn how to do this in a real-world way.

I’ve also highlighted future themes and would love to hear from you about other themes you’d love to see. Thanks for your time and hope to hear from you so I can listen to your needs and wishes.

Leading from Purpose

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line

Sometimes I hear people say in response to these ideas: “but CEOs only care about profits”. To this I wrote: “Do all CEOs “only care about profit”? No..“, and I also give you this:

“The more it invests in its beliefs and its products, the better Patagonia performs, develops creative solutions, and maps out a blueprint for other businesses, big and small, to follow. Doing good work for the planet creates new markets and makes [us] more money. That’s the Patagonia way.”
~ Rose Marcario, CEO, Patagonia

Patagonia is a great example of a Purpose-led business that, the more it leads from purpose, the more profit it makes, so the more it can scale impact. Here are some other examples from articles already written on my site:

Beautiful Leadership – Purpose and Herb Kelleher
Beautiful Leadership – Purpose and the Corporation
Beautiful Leadership – Patagonia’s Righteous Flywheel

My starting point for you, then, is to bring awareness to the fact that this is not only possible but that it smashes the paradigms of Profit being the primary driver for CEOs and other business leaders. Leading from Purpose can and does scale your impact and, with focus on business principles, make the profits necessary for scale, not simply to enrich shareholders.

Leading from Purpose - Why is it so important?

“Why should the citizens of this world keep companies around whose sole purpose is the enrichment of a few people?” ~ Paul Polman, outgoing CEO of Unilever, asked in Feb 2018

Perhaps inspired by that question from the CEO of one of the world’s largest corporations, Martin Wolff, chief economics commentator for the FT, wrote an article in the FT, Dec 11, 2018 : “We must rethink the purpose of the corporation”. Here I give you one thought from Martin from his article:

“Profit is not itself a business purpose. Profit is a condition for — and result of — achieving a purpose.”

Time for a New Triple Bottom Line

The phrase triple bottom line was coined in 1994, those three drivers being people, profit, planet. However, I believe it is now time for new thinking around the drivers of a corporation and removing profit as a source driver.

Please be clear, I absolutely believe in business as a force for good, so it is critical to focus upon Profit as an outcome from leading from Purpose, as without this we cannot Scale our Impact as leaders and with our businesses.

So, I clarified my focus on this in January 2019 with the graphic above and this launch article: “Purpose, People, Planet. The new triple bottom line.“. Since then, this has been a primary focus for me in my daily writing and my focus in conversations, reading, collaborations. If it intrigues you as a possibility, I’d love to talk.

Leading from Purpose - Putting it into Practice

I began today with :

Putting Purpose first truly drives profit to allow you to further scale your impact.

Start to learn how to do this in a real-world way.

Hopefully, I’ve caught your attention so far, including with some real-world examples. So, how can you do this in a real-world way? Clearly, for a newsletter I can’t get too granular, so will stay contextual, with three thoughts for you. I have, thought, added many links, each of which will both give you more depth and also ideas and inspiration for you to put into practice in your organisation.

1: Put Purpose First and Live it. Always.

Sounds obvious, but a key is to focus on putting Purpose first, and I mean first.

It is this simple and also a tough measure to hold to. As one of my mentors taught me, “Awareness is the greatest agent for change”, so I hope in reading this today it has brought you some further awareness of the potential that lies in Leading from Purpose.

Also, don’t engage in “Purpose-washing”. The more I focus on this, the more I see companies and their leaders talking up a good story, yet underneath it all sometimes it feels that the better the story, the more toxic things are underneath the surface.

I baulk whenever someone says about Purpose, Culture, Values that this is the “soft stuff”. No way. Leading from Purpose is not only hard, but it also creates the hardest and firmest measures possible. Act outside of the Purpose and Culture of an organisation and the truly Purpose-led organisation will “spit out” those who behave in such a way.

2: Don't try to be perfect, simply always look to "Be More"

Be real about this. Don’t try to be perfect. The word “more” is really powerful (see “Being More” as a post, as well as “BeMoreYou” as the page on my site outlining the characteristics I see in those Leaders I love to work with.

I love to support leaders at all levels, but my client focus is most often on those leading large and complex international companies that are already operating at scale. It is key for those companies to recognise that they are on a journey to “Be More”. In “Put People First and Do What is Right“, I wrote about one such client, Stantec, who I have found to be committed to always being more, to lead from their Purpose and Values.

3: Focus on Profit

I often come across purists who seem to think Profit is an ugly word. No way. You must generate both profit and cash in order to survive, then thrive, then scale your impact.

So, you must focus relentlessly on your financial numbers (as a recovering Chartered Accountant, of course I will be hard-nosed about this!), as if you don’t, no matter how much you lead from purpose, it is of no value to you or the world if you go out of business!

There is much I could talk about here, but today I’ll close with a beautifully simple simulation that has you act as a CEO and look to balance Purpose and Profit. Thanks to the FT for putting this out there for us.

Tools for Leaders - Ideas into Action

success-2081168-2

This newsletter is sent out periodically (monthly for now) with a focus on contextual themes relevant to “Big Game” leaders, as well as tools to take those ideas into action. Some current themes brewing for future newsletters:

  • Secrets to complex decision making
    • Find “simplicity on the other side of sophistication”, make the right decision in what can feel like impossibly complex situations.
  • Making the right decision fast
    • How to cut to the chase and know you’ve made the right decision.
  • Mastermind
    • Learn how to connect to other leaders with facilitated groups in a way that drives lasting learnings, connections, value for you and your business.
  • Seven Leadership Archetypes
    • Learn how to lead your team through challenges by adopting different energetic and functional styles, adapting situationally to the environment and team.

I would love for you to contact me to share your own idea and themes you’d like to see me share a tool for you and the audience. I’ll then look into them from both my own toolkit and/or additional research, then create a newsletter around that idea to bring it into action.

In addition, now that I am offering diagnostic calls, I know that many of those conversations will catalyse my thinking around new and further tools to offer to this audience.

Diagnostic Call – Book Yours today

Medical stethoscope on a modern laptop

My clients say I “see what others don’t see”, synthesizing thoughts, ideas and insights to provide high value with cut through.

To experience this for yourself, book your diagnostic call now. Bring your story and an opportunity or challenge you are currently focussed on in your leadership. I’ll listen and reflect with a keen focus on what it will take to get you to the next level.

Supporting you to play your "Big Game"

Why mention Big Game Advisors Ltd. in this newsletter? It is my UK business and that name came to me as I love working with leaders playing their “Big Game”, to make their own dent in the universe. After all, why else be here? We are not here to play small! So, those are the people I love to work with. For more on the four qualities of such leaders, visit the #BeMoreYou page.

For more on how we can work together, the Services page has been set up to focus on what I offer and how I deliver services to clients, added to which the Testimonials page gives a sense of the impact of that work on clients around the world through the lens of those clients.

Book a diagnostic meeting

Subscribe for Inspiration, Ideas, Tools

I offer you two newsletters seeking to offer inspiration to action, ideas and tools for leaders.

Open Leadership – Digest
Big Game Advisors – Ideas into Action