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The Story of Purpose

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Business is about bringing people together, finding people who have strengths to balance out your weaknesses, and serving a purpose with what you do.
Joey Reiman is a marketing professional, author and teacher who moved to Atlanta from Long Island. After starting an advertising agency, which was acquired by Omnicom, he has gone on to work with IBM, Proctor & Gamble, and Coca-Cola at the highest levels. Later in his career, Reiman reinvented himself and started a company called Brighthouse with a mission to provide businesses with a path to creating a brighter brand, a greater company and a lasting legacy.
In Joey Reiman’s book, The Story of Purpose, he begins by mentioning that when it’s all about the profits, you’re going to fall into trouble. He talks about how people who focus on the bottom line are in a race to the bottom. The mission to get rich is not sustainable without a guiding sense of purpose, which provides the energy, the partners, and the team of people who allow you to be successful.
However much money you end up making, the only way for you to be truly happy is to have a mission at the forefront of everything you do. Reiman found in his research that 71% of workers are disengaged from their job, and 25% don’t want to do anything. Negativity has been slowly killing hope in corporate America and government. People who can’t wait to go home, to go on vacation, to take their sick leave, or to retire are people who never found their purpose.
When things seem so corrupted, you wonder if there is any chance for a genuine mission in business, but there are purpose-drive companies out there. Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, for example, have taken responsibility for the nutrition of their food by offering healthy food and beverage options. Small businesses must transcend these same principles by coming up with better ways to serve the customer. Once you know what you want, you need to actually get out there and do it. Without execution, nothing matters.
Purpose stems from great leadership. Most organizations are over-managed and under-led. Reiman’s philosophy is that “Purpose-driven leaders don’t manage, they mesmerize. They don’t execute initiatives, they lead crusades.” One great business leader, Bernie Marcus, observed that there was a problem with executives who spent all their time on the top floor and didn’t interact with customers. Bernie made it his mission to spend time in the stores with his employees, and with his customers. He would even go out into the parking lot to talk with people as they came out of the store.
Talk to people, treat people with respect, develop partner relationships, evolve and immerse yourself. Great leaders make themselves available to interaction. They want to help other people because that’s what drives them. These people do not want to retire. They work right up until the end because it’s fun to work with a direction and purpose.
Published: September 10, 2013
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