Last month I had the opportunity to listen to the very interesting ‘Brands in Motion’ study unveiled by Avian WE. Briefly, the report articulates survey findings across various cities and sectors and covered more than 1000 consumers in India.
Here are some interesting facets from the report:
- 75% of consumers say brands should be clear about what they stand for
- Two out of three respondents say they are more likely to purchase or recommend products or services from brands that address societal issues that matter to them – brands should have a purpose
- 75% want all brands to invest to make the world a better place
- 75% say executives should convey their personal positions on issues to at least one of five different audiences (employees, social media, customers, shareholders, or the media) with very high frequency—from “almost constantly” to every three months
- 41% say brands should focus on making their local communities better
It will take a brave CEO or leader to convey her/his personal position on local issues. Getting caught in political hues is a harsh reality and it has the tendency to deflect the real narrative. Yet, it begets thinking, how we as professionals can frame our stance on purpose and what really matters to us the most.
The beginning is often made by asking oneself deeply and sometimes, tough questions. How does one get to know one’s own purpose? How do we get there? How can we as individuals make a meaningful difference in our own lives? What ticks you off? Which topics are you most passionate about? What values do you feel most strongly about? How responsible is your behavior? Are you able to speak with people without letting your biases and judgement cloud the conversation?
Understanding oneself is the first and foremost step towards your journey to finding your purpose. Once you find your internal purpose, aligning yourself to an organization that has the values you hold most important becomes relatively easier.
Remember, this is not a realization that suddenly hits you one day. Getting to know yourself and being in sync with your value system is a process and journey in itself. During this journey, remove the time to pause, reflect, share and write down your thoughts and feelings. Watch out for patterns of behavior and how they influence your long-term vision of yourself.
While this process may make one intimidated and overwhelmed, you must also not forget to appreciate the goodness in you. Gratitude is one of the biggest levers that can help you stay connected with your inner core and the external world as well.
As you progress, do think of sharing and collaborating with colleagues and friends who hold similar values and are passionate about the same cause. Meaningful collaboration can lead to the co-creation of new ideas and action plans, spurring change. The sharing can also lead to disagreements and differences in opinions. Sustaining the dialogue and remaining engaged in such situations call for a high degree of maturity and expanded mindset.
In the last phase of this ‘finding my purpose’ journey, comes action. The ability to stand up to your convictions and take decisive actions is an act of courage. It is only through perseverance and your strength that can you make a difference.
Not surprisingly, the above steps can also help you become a better communicator and/or PR professional! While self-reflection, recognizing patterns, gratitude, being patient, and remaining engaged can help you understand your purpose, they can also enhance your critical and analytical skills. Once you become aware, your collaborative and communication skills can aid you in co-create innovative ideas and identifying potential action points that can bring about change.
So, what’s your plan to lead a purposeful life in 2022?
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