- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (May 25, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071624708
- ISBN-13: 978-0071624701
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #478,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Purpose Linked Organization: How Passionate Leaders Inspire Winning Teams and Great Results 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
FREE WITH YOUR PURCHASE:
Exclusive access to “The Passion Profiler,” an online tool for identifying your Passion Archetypes―your individual strengths, vulnerabilities, and capacity for achievement, as well as those of every member of your organization.
Work without passion and purpose?
Don’t you and your organization deserve better?
“Grow your business and inspire your team with the secrets of purpose and passion in this highly practical book.”
―Marshall Goldsmith, bestselling author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
“Smart leaders understand that productivity and innovation would be greatly increased if only they could fully engage their people by putting them in jobs that match their passions and talents; but how? The Purpose Linked Organization provides a novel, practical, and no-nonsense approach to help leaders accomplish that goal.”
―Henri Lipmanowicz, former president of Merck, Intercontinental Region and Japan; chairman and cofounder of Plexus Institute
“This book is timely and essential for developing passionate leaders.”
―Virgil L. Smith, vice president, Gannett Co., Inc.
“If you’re a business leader searching for better ways to develop your organization’s talent . . . don’t miss this book!”
―Joseph Pieroni, CEO, Daiichi-Sankyo
“Love and Cugnon offer leaders the missing link for boosting employee performance beyond the level that skills and competence alone will allow.”
―Patricia O’Connell, management editor, BusinessWeek
About the Author
Alaina Love, SPHR, is president and cofounder of Purpose Linked Consulting and the creator and author of many of the firm’s leadership workshops and assessment tools. Formerly a human resources executive at multinational corporations, Love now provides leadership, team, and organizational development services to Fortune 500 firms, private companies, hospitals, and universities.
Marc Cugnon is CEO and cofounder of Purpose Linked Consulting. With over three decades of experience as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical industry, he now provides leadership development, strategic planning, and marketing consultation services to large firms, small businesses, and international universities.
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When in the past the search for the Holy Grail motivated armies to crusade into the holy land, today, in a world so small yet so much more complicated, we have to re-conquer the inside and search our heart and soul. In the industrialized nations we have created an environment that threatens the very fabric which allowed progress to take place. Our buzzing work places are devoid of natural environment, children of the inner city do not understand their connection with nature. Whole industries, pharmaceutical products, and of course plenty of literature have sprung up to soothe, coach, numb or treat the effects of this disconnect.
Imagine a time when one's place in the environment was set, unshakable and understood. The very idea of reaping extraordinary, short term benefit, and leaving the scene before the long term damages to the company, community, environment become obvious was reserved for the snake oil salesmen. Society reserved a special place of disdain for those types, kept in check through the communal memory. Today, Wall Street espouses the snake oil salesmen as the movers and shakers of the economy. While just thirty years ago, our country was the word's largest producer of textiles, steel, computers, software, cars, airplanes, and much more, we are today right sized, down sized and, yes, out sourced first to Europe and Japan, then Latin America and now China, India, and Indonesia. Almost creating memories of the victors of World War II dismantling German industry, we effectively cashed out - a reverse mortgage in quarterly installments via Wall Street. How could this be made possible? The suspension of memory and corporate knowledge! Let's not look back. That required taking responsibility. Alaina and Marc pointedly hit the bull's eye when emphasizing the long term benefit of a corporate memory, the need for the teachers in an organization. How would we otherwise transfer and keep knowledge in an organization? Can we still dye, weave and knit, build good cars, trucks, airplanes and space ships? How much longer?
We right sized the teachers in the last decades, expelled them along with Altruists, Healers and Processors, and replaced them in lopsided teams with generation after generation of Transformers and Builders. Nature and the laws that govern us all did not matter in this change. Every farmer knows that when it rains you cannot make hay. In business, voicing caution for this unrealistic plan might cause you, the lowly processor, to stand in the rain. The high strung manager bails it wet, because when the barn catches on fire he will be long gone. In business school we called that the road to Abilene. GM and City Bank made a freeway out of it.
Alaina and Marc suggest that Stillness and Contemplation are an essential pre-requisite to begin the search for purpose. It sounds so easy, yet we all know how hard it is to attain. We used to communicate precisely and sparingly through letters that took months, weeks and days to reach the receiver. Sitting at a desk in quiet and contemplating the argument required time, mental fitness and an ability for completeness. There are no second chances after writing a letter. Read the artful words of Thomas Jefferson and compare their timeless effectiveness with today's instant e-mail communication often devoid of nomenclature, composition, and relevance. Inherently inefficient, companies now have to train their employees to re-learn nomenclature of written communication and mental discipline, precision, but also the ability to read a memo longer than one page. Contemplation and stillness were easier for Thomas Jefferson when he spent six weeks at sea to travel to Paris. Alaina and Marc prescribe twenty-five minutes as a start every day and build up from there.
The challenges we face to rebuild a strong and productive economy require first and foremost the creation of a base line. Alaina and Marc provide the instrument for this essential task. What drives us? What triggers motivation? What are our passions? Ultimately, where do we see our purpose? This tool works for individuals, within teams and for whole organizations. The stories of the people that Alaina and Marc interviewed to illustrate each passion archetype provide the flesh and color in their scientific skeleton. Who could not be fascinated with the creator kid who became the editor of National Geographic, or Alden McDonald, the builder banker who almost single handedly restarted New Orleans after Katrina? Wait until you get to know the commander of the Blue Angels! Not all processors are bean counters!
The search for life's purpose starts with the individual. Take a look at the greatest generation, our fathers and grandfathers that returned from the Second World War. The shambles they found our world in posed a huge potential for purpose linked activity. They started with a clean slate. My father in law returned from the war and looked for a job. He discovered life insurance and using his passions of Builder and Connector he moved to the very top of his company, retiring after thirty four years with the same organization. He never corrupted his values or doubted his purpose. Neither did the managers and workers that moved up alongside him. I am sure, given the circumstances, he would live the same life again. How many of us in the younger generation can say this? Can one even stay in the same job for thirty years and remain passionate?
Once you understand your passions and those of your co-workers and peers, you have created a baseline from which to find purpose. This is just the beginning. The rehab starts with aligning the whole organization according to passion and purpose. Alaina and Marc do not just describe the entry to the purpose journey we all have to undertake, they provide the tools to, as they describe it, "find the right seat on the bus." While the passion profile in itself is a life changing experience, the second part of the book explains its application for the whole organization.
The chance we have is to re-make what we used to have: Core values combined with unique skills supported by primary passions. Yes, truth and courage are one of the foundations of trust which in turn is the basis for business! That is the formula for peak performance on an individual, organizational and even communal level. The leaders who internalize this work, who shed the short term materialism for long term, healthy growth, will outperform any other. We can see a glimpse of this new leadership in the green movement, where investors, managers and workers are passionately contributing to a more responsible and sustainable economy. The construction, power generation or organic food industries are seedlings that all need tender loving care before they can withstand the harsh climate of our free market forces. This requires the Conceivers, Builders, Creators, Processors, Transformers, Teachers, Discoverers, Altruists, Healers, and Connectors, Alaina and Marc describe so well. And, most importantly, it requires all of them.
Without a doubt, this work Alaina and Marc have created shows the path to a new era of productivity, sustainability and psychological as well as physical health. The book is the beginning, the map that enables all of us to start the journey. With their guidance and our hard work we will hopefully go to a better place, a place where nature coexists with business, personal fulfillment re-gains import, and wealth generation follows without being the sole driver. I am on my way now! Hope to see you on the bus. Thanks Alaina, thanks Marc!
At first glance, it is difficult to imagine a question that is more important or a question that could be more difficult for an organization to implement. However, Love and Cugnon present a structured framework that accomplishes three things:
1. Establishes the case for passion in the workplace
2. Helps employees (and the reader) understand their own "passion profile"
3. Provides an actionable roadmap
First, Love and Cugnon take a commonsensical approach to explaining the importance of passion in the workplace. The idea that "employees should be passionate about their jobs" seems almost too obvious to require explanation. However, by using relatable anecdotes, Love and Cugnon demonstrate why this is hardly ever the case and illustrate the deep impact that passion can have on individuals and organizations.
Second, Love and Cugnon outline 10 "passion profiles" - fundamental building blocks that combine to create each individual's unique profile. This section of the book is extremely insightful. I found myself laughing (and wincing) at the accuracy of the profiles, which include strengths, weaknesses and helpful advice on how to work best with and avoid the common pitfalls associated with each profile.
Finally, after demonstrating the importance and "nuts and bolts" of their approach, Love and Cugnon answer the question... "So, how do we actually do this?" To be honest, I had anticipated that this part of the book would be the weakest... Everyone WANTS to be passionate about work, but there are only so many "cool" jobs out there, right? Wrong. The authors treat what seems to be an impossible and insurmountable problem by deconstructing it into manageable steps and questions for individuals and organizations. Using examples, the authors inspire the reader and illustrate how their approach can add value to organizations.
Overall, I highly recommend The Purpose Linked Organization. I personally come from a management consulting background where analytical rigor is prized above all else and where talking about passion and culture are often perceived as "soft." Simply put, this is the wrong approach. Love and Cugnon present a very compelling alternative and, importantly, they avoid the common pitfall of management books that rely on sweeping generalities and unfounded claims.
I also would like to add that I had the opportunity to meet the authors. They are fiercely intelligent people with very impressive backgrounds. But, what is more compelling than their resumes or education is the fact that they practice what they preach. The authors both left very lucrative careers to follow their own passion (which happens to be helping others' find theirs as well).
I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with Alaina for a 1-on-1 counseling session where she analyzed my "passion profile" (similar to the type of analysis that she would provide for corporate leadership teams). The session was extremely insightful, and her advice prompted me to make a career change that has had a very positive impact on my professional and personal life.
Whether you are twenty-something trying to find out how you want to spend the rest of your life or an executive looking for a competitive edge, read The Purpose Linked Organization - you won't regret it.
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