How to run a business on purpose


Purposeful leadership helps managers through difficult times and can also help executives celebrate the things that are going well, says Leisa Sargent of UNSW Business School

Today, many leaders strive to create value and do good around the world, not just to increase profits. The trend towards purpose-driven business continues to gain momentum as many recognize that consumers today want to deal with businesses that are driven by a purpose that corresponds to their own beliefs.

So what does it take to lead in a targeted manner? How you identify the personal contribution you want to make to the world, create a business model and want to lead it in a targeted manner, was explained in the second part of The Business of Purpose-led Leadership, the 12th episode of the AGSM @ UNSW Business School Leadership Podcast series, discussed.

Host Emma Lo Russo was supported by Victoria Momsen, Strategic Planning Manager at Lendlease Digital, and Alison Harrington, CEO and Founder of Moove & Groove. Leisa Sargent, Senior Deputy Dean and Co-Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Justice, Diversity and Inclusion, shared on the podcast how her values ​​align with her work and the role of inclusivity and diversity in focused leadership.

From purpose to impact

Targeted leadership was about making sure your values ​​align with what you do, how you do it and what decisions you make from them, said Prof. Sargent.

When you have a purpose, you have a stronger, more engaged workforce who are more likely to take it a step further, innovate, solve problems, and address problems within the company, said Prof. Sargent.

To find your purpose, Prof. Sargent said you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What were some of the defining moments in your life?
  • How have they changed the way you think about yourself and how you lead?
  • What did you enjoy when you were very young and why were they important?
  • How can you communicate this in a way that is meaningful and achievable?

“I think it goes back to … the purpose is there, it’s been there a long time and you can probably really refine and define it through your previous experience,” she said.

Purposeful leadership helps managers through difficult times and can also help executives celebrate the things that are going well, she said.

“From a development point of view, it makes leading so much easier. When you understand why you do what you do and that you can communicate so well with your co-workers, your co-workers and co-workers, as well as your voters, I think it means you can face difficult problems, “she said .

Moove & Groove while leading with a punch

An example of a company that is dedicated to focused leadership is Moove & Groove, which uses silent disco technology to create a comprehensive music and movement experience for people with dementia in the senior community.

Moove & Groove Founder and CEO Allison Harrington has built a career combining her desire for social impact and greater purpose. Their purpose-driven business started with a simple idea: make music accessible to seniors with dementia.

Five years ago, Harrington hosted a silent disco event to raise money for charity, and she said she had noticed how happy it made everyone and how beneficial it could be for physical and mental health. Desiring to start a purpose-driven company, she studied social impact at UNSW Sydney from 2014 to 2016.

“I saw the crazy silent disco technology there and I just decided, you know what, it’s really fun. So I started a little side gig dance – a business where I also ran a silent disco for charities, ”she said.

Their silent disco idea has since expanded into a complete lifestyle program, 1000 podcasts and 350 music playlists, 30 radio stations and something for everyone. “We switched from probably 15 to 20 facilities to 100 in a very short time. So it was a pretty quick path and I never dreamed of coming up with this idea and then having a pandemic in the middle, “she said.

Harrington previously ran 10 x 10 – a live crowdfunding charity made up of young professionals who fundraise for innovative grassroots charities by hosting guests at inspiring events where she first “saw the power of purpose “.

The management of 10 x 10 gave Harrington the confidence and foundation to then start Move & Groove and now their business is making an impact.

“We get phenomenal responses from professionals with a very simple use of headphones on their favorite song, which is different from giving them a drug or having these people in need for a really long time.”