According to Gallup CEO and Chairman Jim Clifton, “The very practice of management no longer works. The old ways: annual reviews, forced rankings, outdated competencies, no longer achieve the intended results.” This opening statement from the Gallup Report, The State of the American Workplace, points out that only one third of the more than 100 Million American workers are engaged in their work. 

Clifton suggests, “If American companies were simply to double the number of engaged workers from one-third to two-thirds, spirited employees would reverse our seriously declining national productivity.” One of his suggestions to business leaders is to change to a purpose driven culture instead of a paycheck culture. 

Jim Clifton’s suggestion of a move towards purpose is supported by countless authors and experts. For example, Richard J. Leider, author of The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, Better stated, “People who seek meaning beyond themselves are healthier, happier, and live longer.” 

Similarly, Emily Esfahani Smith, author of  The Power of Meaning: Finding Fulfillment in a World Obsessed with Happiness, declared “Research shows that when people use their strengths at work, they find more meaning in their jobs and ultimately perform better.” She also cautioned, “…if we don’t feel a sense of belonging on the job, both our jobs and our lives will feel less meaningful.”

At Meaning-Centered Leadership, we agree with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Good Business: Leadership, Flow, and the Making of Meaning. He explained, “…concerned employees of any organization can learn to contribute to the sum of human happiness, to the development of an enjoyable life that provides meaning…” 

Our soon to be published book, Meaning-Centered Leadership: Why Meaning Matters in Your Organization, goes beyond many of the excellent books on this important dimension of leadership. We offer steps leaders can take to increase Engagement, Empowerment, and use their Expertise to build their organizations. Our simple framework helps leaders focus on creating meaning and purpose for themselves and their followers. 

In our book we offer tools for measuring your impact as a meaning-centered leader, along with resources that will help you focus on increasing your leadership skills. We also provide you with a roadmap for ongiong development.

Without these important tools, leaders are not adequately prepared to make the move from “paycheck to purpose,” and we’ll continue to see abysmal results from leadership training. Dr. Julia Sperling cited that only 7% of CEO’s are satisfied with their investment in leadership development.

Our approach at Meaning-Centered Leadership is designed to deepen the return on that investment. In doing so, we will contribute to the movement towards a “purpose culture” and an increase in the “sum of human happiness.”