The Difference Between Strategic Vision and Noble Purpose

Which is more important: purpose or vision?

Summary
Transcript

Lisa McLeod, author of Leading with Noble Purpose, explains the difference between establishing a strategic vision and setting a noble purpose for your organization.

“A noble purpose is a clear statement about the impact that you want to have and are having on your customers,” says Lisa. “Your vision is how you see the world when you're done. In a lot of organizations, they might have a purpose and a vision, but purpose, your noble purpose, it trumps everything. The vision is more narrative. It's more malleable.”

Watch the video to hear more from Lisa about noble purpose and strategic vision.

People often ask me what the difference between noble purpose and vision. A noble purpose is a clear statement about the impact that you want to have and are having on your customers. Your vision is how you see the world when you're done.

In a lot of organizations, they might have a purpose and a vision, but purpose, your noble purpose, it trumps everything. The vision is more narrative. It's more malleable. It's, "Here's what we see happens in the end." But your noble purpose is that one clear, short statement about the impact you have on clients. Your noble purpose is actually what you use as a lens to make decisions in your business. Is this in alignment? Is it not?

Now, I don't want to discount the importance of vision because people need to see, "This is where we're going. This is the impact that we want to have on the world." So as a leader, you're constantly casting that vision. The way I would think of it is your noble purpose is your statement, and your vision, then, is the narrative of this future point. But the noble purpose is what you do every single day.

One of the things that we know is organizations with a noble purpose outperform the market by over 350 percent. And the data could not be more clear. A colleague of mine documented organizational impact, a gentleman by the name of Jim Stengel, who is a great thought leader. And our company documented the impact that it has on sales. What we know is salespeople that sell with noble purpose, who truly want to make a difference in the lives of their customers, outsell salespeople focused on targets and quotas.

So why is that? Well, what happens is, imagine you have two salespeople and they're both going into the sales call, and one of them is thinking, "I need to close this deal. I need to close this deal. I've got to hit my number. I'm going to make my bonus. This is going to be so awesome." What's that salesperson's talk track? It's all in their head about themselves.

But imagine another salesperson, imagine that they work for one of our clients, and they're here to make transportation safer, faster, and more reliable, or they're here to deliver amazing travel experiences. Their focus is on the client, so they will actually close bigger deals and they will close them with more retention. So that's one of the things that happens.

You see, what a noble purpose drives is two things. It drives competitive differentiation and emotional engagement. It demonstrates why you're different, and it gives people something to care about. The data tells us that organizations with a purpose… We've had some of our clients literally double their revenues in less than a year, and it's because everyone is so laser-like focused on the customer. So it shows up behaviorally, and then over time it also shows up in product innovation.
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Lisa McLeod

Lisa McLeod began her career at Procter & Gamble, where she was a sales leader, sales managers, and sales training. She went on to become the Vice-President of Vital Learning --an international training company - before founded he...

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