How Connecting with Purpose Creates Transformational Business Leaders and Builds Company Culture

By Candace Coleman, CultureWise Content Manager

Every CEO’s aim is to run a successful company. Some might believe that generating substantial revenue and steadily expanding their business are sufficient to achieve this goal. But as gratifying as profit and growth are, these things ultimately won’t lead to overarching success for the organization.

Beyond the material gains, real achievement is born out of personal fulfillment—both for business leaders and their employees. When CEOs and the people who work for them clearly understand their purpose in the organization, what their gifts are, and why their contributions matter, they form a passionate team that is motivated to excel.

Purpose is an essential part of the equation for success.

Brett Pyle, noted author, speaker, and Founder and CEO of the Global Executive Group, has made it his mission to help leaders identify their purpose and, in turn, help their team members do the same. As he explains in his book Your Extraordinary Why:

“It’s the why behind the what that will dictate whether or not the achievement of your goals will ultimately fulfill you.”

In addition to detailing this concept in his highly engaging book, Pyle has presented his message in person and virtually to thousands of executives worldwide. He advises that living from a sense of purpose helps CEOs lead at a higher level. By embodying purpose, leaders can not only achieve professional success, but they can also run a “business of significance.”

The Connection Between Purpose & Company Culture

Brett Pyle notes that most businesses develop and focus on their specific mission, vision, and values. While these elements are important, he advocates for what some of the more forward-thinking organizational leaders are doing today: defining the meaningful purpose behind what the company does. He explains that purpose should be the north star guiding everything else:

“Mission can change over time. It should follow purpose—we exist because of this.”

Pyle also makes the connection between an organization’s purpose and its culture. In 2015, he heard CultureWise CEO David J. Friedman’s Vistage presentation about having an intentional approach to developing a high-performing culture. He appreciated how Friedman demystified the concept by explaining the fundamental behaviors that drive a company’s success.

And he immediately understood that many of the key behaviors that formulate a healthy culture are also ideal channels to reinforce purpose in the workplace.

By identifying a company’s purpose and then building a culture to reflect and live it out, leaders will tap into a powerful energy source for their organization. In addition, they are providing their team with one of the most sought-after qualities of employment in this era of the Great Resignation—a sense that what they do at work has value and meaning.

This convergence is becoming known as a “purpose-driven culture.” As Jake Herway writes in a Gallup article,

“In a purpose-driven culture, employees have a heartfelt sense of ownership for their purpose. Purpose energizes teams, informs their decisions and guides their day-to-day behavior. Employees know who they serve, what they serve, and how to embody brand promises.”

It is intensely gratifying for employees to recognize the purpose grounding their organization and, consequently, the meaning behind their roles. A purpose-based culture inspires current workers to perform at their best, take pride in their jobs, and deepen their engagement with their company. This rich environment also attracts the best talent.

Organizations that lock into this richly rewarding formula become standard-bearers in a highly commoditized market. And their commitment to purpose and culture is the source of their ultimate success.

The Journey

Before he became a full-time speaker and influencer, Brett Pyle acquired a keen understanding of the challenges that leaders face during his thirty-year global business career in the consulting and petroleum industries. As a corporate insider, he observed that companies with CEOs who identify and harness their organization’s purpose rise to and stay at the top of their field.

But Pyle understood that these leaders couldn’t channel their organization’s purpose without first understanding and reflecting on their personal path. His curiosity about what compels people to discover and focus on their “why” led him to years of research on the topic.

Pyle was particularly influenced by the writings of Victor Frankl, the Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who was also a Holocaust survivor. Frankl founded one of the pillar premises of psychology, which describes the search for life’s meaning as the central force for human motivation.

Pyle’s favorite Frankl quote is: “Happiness ensues through dedication to a cause greater than oneself.” He grew to understand that an individual’s core purpose can be as far-reaching as educating the world about the atrocities of the Holocaust or as basic as raising their children to be contributing members of society.

The key, he believes, is for people to find their cause and give themselves wholly to it. When someone does that, he says, they’ll know that what they do matters.

Transformational Leadership: Brett Pyle at the CultureWise Summit

After leaders clarify what resonates with them in their work, they can use it to form the nucleus of building a purpose-driven culture. When Brett Pyle speaks to business leaders, he encourages and helps them tune into the cause they want to champion and be their “authentic selves.” Then he guides them through the process of learning to lead from that cause.

In November 2022, Brett Pyle will present a special version of his Transformational Leadership program at the annual CultureWise Summit. He designed this dynamic interactive session to help business executives realize their utmost potential as leaders. Then he explains how they can most effectively assist their team members to develop and maximize their talents.

The major takeaways Summit participants can expect from Pyle’s presentation are:

  • Increased self-awareness of personal and professional leadership strengths and weaknesses
  • A unique paradigm of leading from the core of their being
  • A simple, step-by-step model for leading others to and through transformational developmental experiences

Pyle likes to remind his audiences that an executive’s job isn’t just to shine in their position and help the company prosper. It is equally vital for them to cultivate their employees’ potential.

“Our goal should be to help them find their voice and leadership capabilities in the process of doing our work. That’s the lynchpin of being a great leader—you must lead from the core of your being. Leadership isn’t what you do, it’s who you are.”

He points out that as we go through life, we have many transformative experiences that develop us and make us more confident and balanced in who we are. Ultimately, the role of leadership is to be that kind of catalyst for other people.

As Pyle explains, “Transformative leaders accelerate others through the pathway that helps them grow at a faster pace.” In doing so, they forge immensely satisfying and meaningful careers for their staff and themselves.

About the CultureWise Summit

The annual CultureWise Summit will take place in Philadelphia on November 2-4, 2022. Each year, this gathering provides an unprecedented opportunity to interact directly with executives from companies with high-performing cultures. In addition to watching compelling presentations on topics that impact every business, attendees will hear panel discussions, participate in breakout sessions, and engage in meaningful networking events.

Registration for the 2022 Annual Culture Summit is currently open, but space is limited. Be sure to take advantage of this unique opportunity to develop new alliances and share best practices while learning innovative ways to strengthen company culture.

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