A sense of purpose is at the core of how many companies are responding to business and societal challenges and is critically important for our well-being. We talked to some of the greatest leaders in the field to learn about the role that purpose plays – both personally and professionally – in the world today.

Thrive Global: How did you first discover purpose in your work?
Alexander McCobin: This is something I cared about from childhood. I was passionate about principles like justice and morality thanks to high school debate. When I began starting organizations in college, I was as willing to organize them as clubs, for-profit businesses, or non-profit charities so long as I thought the structure would help the organization grow and fulfill its higher purpose.

TG: How does purpose show up for you in your work now?

AM: Purpose drives both me as a person and Conscious Capitalism as an organization. For me, it’s about making sure that my work serves my personal higher purpose. For Conscious Capitalism, it’s about making sure that everyone involved is serving the higher purpose of the organization. When we are doing it properly, personal and organizational purposes align and great things result.

TG: Do you have a clear sense of your life’s purpose? How has that evolved? Do you expect it to keep evolving?

AM: I began thinking about my life’s purpose a decade ago and revisit it every few years. In some ways, it has remained the same, grounded in principles of morality and integrity. In some ways, though, it has evolved based on new information, maturity, and what I hope is a deeper understanding of life, the universe, and everything. So I expect it to continue evolving.

TG: What do you think are some ways businesses today can ‘live’ purpose? How do you think about instilling purpose in others? 

AM: I’m biased, but I think they can read Conscious Capitalism and get involved with Conscious Capitalism, Inc. (www.consciouscapitalism.org) to learn about purpose and begin infusing it in everything they do from the processes in their operations to the way they approach challenges.

TG: It’s said that ‘we measure what matters and what matters gets measured.’ If your business has metrics of meaning and well-being in addition to financial metrics, what are they? If not, what could they be?

AM: We are developing those right now. For us, it’s about impact in spreading Conscious Capitalism. So we’re looking at things like how many businesses we’re impacting, how people think about business, and how much this philosophy is making the world a better place.