Alignment of Purpose and Vision Isn’t A One Way Ticket


Often, we think of vision and purpose in an organizational context, yet organizations are powered by people. It’s the marriage between the individual and organization that creates value.

Like any good marriage, the give and take, needs and wants, they go both directions. It’s not one side with desires and the other’s sole job to fulfill them. The challenge comes with common breakdowns that honestly happen all the time in marriages and organizations.

  • People stop talking to each other and, more specifically, stop listening.
  • They’ll spend energy on actions to make people feel valued but fall flat.
  • Busy becomes a way of life and there’s no time for anything other than cranking out more work.

So often, the individuals within couples believe that if I tell you what I need, I should get it. We see a similar experience in organizations when leaders tell senior managers the vision and expect everyone to get it from the front lines to talent management.

It’s the old, “I won’t say this twice so listen closely” challenge. Ugh, so often it’s also the “I know what’s best for you” way of leading. However, the truth is that’s rarely the case. Telling does not create alignment, and there is a better, more effective, way forward.

Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Anushka Rajesh on the peopleHum team. Many great speakers have been a part of their recent interview series, and I encourage you to check out their channel.  

The focus of our conversation was on the alignment of purpose and vision. Throughout, I share specific examples of when organizations had a vision but struggled to hit the mark with their actions. Also, there are specific tips for individuals striving to live and work with a sense of purpose too. 

I welcome your thoughts. What resonated? What have you seen happen when there is a disconnect between the organizational vision, purpose, action, and the employee experience? 

Related: Dig Deep Into Your Personal Leadership and Stop Hiding