RECENTLY I WAS READING an interview with Jay Gould, CEO of Interface Corp. He has wonderful experience leading a variety of companies, large and small.

He described a trend he’s noticed called “purpose-washing.” He uses it to describe companies that slap a message of purpose on their outreach to employees because they’ve heard that Millennials want that kind of thing.

That’s like declaring “New and Improved!!!!” because you want something to say on the box that looks exciting.

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RUNNING A BUSINESS can feel pretty isolated.

Even when you’re surrounded by employees, teams, partners, suppliers, contractors … it can feel like the weight of the whole world is on your shoulders. Because all of them seem to look to you for direction and answers.

And you don’t want to burden your loved ones with business concerns: it seems unfair.

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GREYSTONE TECHNOLOGY is a local Information Technology (IT) outsourcing firm. Currently with 85 employees, they’ve been growing at a rapid clip for over a decade.

I had a chance to sit down with Peter Melby recently, who owns the company along with Jesse Armstrong. They formed the business in 2001 with the idea that this would be a fun and motivating environment for employees.

Which is what they’ve built. But there’s so much more to the story.

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PEOPLE OFTEN COMPLAIN that companies only worry about the current quarter, or even the current week.

I don’t care if you’re a one-person business, or a billion dollar mega-corporation. You care that the business is going to survive. For years, decades, even forever.

As a leader, your role is to plan for that future, to lay the groundwork and structure for enduring success. So don’t complain about the shortsightedness of the stock market, or the regulators, or your boss. It doesn’t help.

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YOUR PRIMARY VALUE as a leader is to give people direction, to align their work in order to achieve the large goals of the group.

But that’s the left-brain way of thinking. It’s fine and necessary as far as it goes, but it’s missing something.

Caring. Purpose. Passion.

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IT’S REALLY DEPRESSING how many people are disengaged from their jobs.

I’ve been there, and you probably have too.  It’s not a great feeling.

But guess what? As a leader and business owner, you have the great opportunity to do something about it for your people.  And it’s not rocket science.

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WINDSONG MEMORY CARE is a great new facility in Fort Collins, part of the new growing field of applying Montessori methods to help dementia patients.

They call their approach the Montessori Inspired Lifestyle®, and it’s revolutionary.

We all have fears when it comes to our declining years. For me, the idea of losing my memory and thinking is unbelievably scary.

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DISAGREEMENT IS NATURAL, because we’re human.

I’ve recently had to work on this, both for myself and for clients, and have some thoughts about building a graceful reconciliation.

It’s important to realize that you’ve entered a zone fraught with emotion, so treating this with logical arguments isn’t likely to end up with a great result.

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EVERY DAY IS A BALANCING ACT, constantly responding to the winds of change.

I get that.

But you have to remember where you’re going.  When people walk a tightrope, it’s not about focusing on the two feet around them and the infinite space below.

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YOU WOULD LIKE TO THINK that a clear sense of mission straightens everything out.

And to a certain extent, it does.

But the truth is also that knowing where you’re going doesn’t mean that reality will line up to make your job easy.  You may be on a mission to save lives on the other side of town. Your sirens and flashing lights can help clear the road a bit, but the roads aren’t going to move to make your job easier.

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