Be Purposeful

August 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment


I had a marketing professor in my MBA program who told us at the beginning of his course that we all needed to learn to “be pithy”. He did not want us to strive to write 8-10 page papers as that meant he had to read them. Instead, he wanted us to put a value on every word that we communicated so we could get to the point quickly. I currently work with someone who is influencing my communication style to be more purposeful. He does it in a straight-forward way so there is not second-guessing that he values this approach.

As I think about my life, both professionally and personally, I extend the idea of being purposeful to both my communication and my actions. Every action that I take should be directed towards a specific goal. Every email I send should have a specific need to communicate or request action of the reader. Every meeting that I host should have a clear goal that everyone knows in advance. I realize that most of these things would cause you to nod and think “of course these should happen – this is not new”. However, I challenge you to look at your email, your calendar, and even your actions through the day – are you doing it? Are you operating with the end goal in mind?

It takes forethought. It requires that you plan your actions which requires more time spent. Yet, if we spend that time on the planning, how much better would the results turn out?

Here are a few things that I am trying in my life to improve how I act purposefully. What have you tried that has helped you either personally or professionally?

  • Write an outline before starting any communication
  • Building a re-usable agenda template for recurring meetings
  • Working with my team to set goals at the start of a project (elementary but how often do we jump right in because the goal is assumed?)
  • Daily stand-ups with my team focused on 2-3 things each person will do to move our strategic effort forward (Read “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” by Chris McChesney – GAME changing!)
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Entry filed under: Career Development, Employee Development, Management.

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