I am a firm believer that we have a divine purpose, and we are not just here by accident. I never thought I would become Funeral Director, even though it has been a part of our family for generations. Actually most people assume this would be a likely path I would go down. Funny thing, I never saw it coming even though I enjoyed hospitality work from my earlier years with my first jobs being in restaurants & hotels.
In 1989 I joined our family’s profession, I started at an entry-level position; washing cars, transferring those who have died into our care, driving the limousine, cleaning the funeral home, etc. I did this for two years and I really enjoyed it but I had a different dream in me and I decided to pursue it.
I enlisted in the US Navy to become a Navy SEAL. This was one of the best experiences of my life AND one of the biggest disappointments all in the same breath. Needless to say I never became a Navy SEAL, I got close but couldn’t finish due to an injury. It took me years to let go of all my heartache of failing this goal. I recently saw the new movie, “Lone Survivor” – it is such a powerful film and it made me think over what my life would’ve been like had I become a SEAL. Standing where I am today, I feel like I can see clearly why I didn’t make it, I was meant for a different purpose: the purpose of helping families in their darkest hours.
Our company is about to embark on a journey to determine what our Core Purpose is as an organization. It’s going to be an interesting journey and I invite you to stay tuned.
Let me tell you a little bit about what a Core Purpose actually is:
A Core Purpose is our fundamental reason for being. A guideline that will influence every decision our company makes. It’s a pillar that supports our vision, creates clarity and keeps us focused on our mission.
If I was you I might be thinking “Wow, your company started in 1898 and you are just now defining your core purpose?” Well, while our business is wrapped in a wonderful history, the people I work with are a very real part of our present and our future. Together, we’ve found reason to change the future of our profession and that means discovering together what our core purpose as an organization is. Our contemporary purpose is evolving and the way we see it, the purpose of yesterday’s funeral homes just aren’t meeting the needs of today’s families.
I cannot help but think about our work lives, we end up spending more time with our work families than we do with our own families. Day in and day out we can either, enjoy and support our coworkers or we can put up walls of fear. Have you ever worked at a place you hated? Have you ever felt better when you called in sick? If you’ve ever felt that way, I would guess it was because that work environment was been ruled by bad attitudes and bad behaviors. Who is to blame? Do we have to participate in a toxic work environment? No, we can shape our lives into what ever we want them to be.
“Within the context of making an organization healthy, alignment is about creating so much clarity that there is as little room as possible for confusion, disorder, and infighting to set in.”
With clarity comes accountability and, in a healthy work environ, accountability leads to vulnerability-based trust. This is what happens when members get to a point where they are completely comfortable being transparent and honest with one another. Where they can say and genuinely mean things like “Hey, I screwed up,” “Neil, I need help,” “Molly, your idea is WAY better than mine,” “Joe, I wish I could learn to do that as well as you do,” and even, “I’m sorry.”
At the heart of vulnerability lies the willingness of people to abandon their pride and their fear, to sacrifice their egos for the benefit of relationship and the collective good of their work family.
So we’re going to find out what that purpose is and yes, we’ll share it with you once we’ve met together as a company and discovered together what our new purpose is. I’m so excited about this and I hope you are too!