Is your organization headed somewhere specifically? Somewhere important?

I recently heard David Burkus talk about the concept of being on a “crusade”. It’s similar to how I’ve used the concept of “mission,” but the word has more emotional impact.

David talked about three kinds of crusades:

  • The revolution
  • The underdog
  • The ally

The revolution is a cause to change the world for the better. The purpose itself is what’s driving you, the vision of a possible better world.

The underdog is a fight for a larger goal because you want to “show the world.” It’s about striving and achieving against all odds.

The ally is about addressing an injustice against the weak. Someone is unfairly disadvantaged, and you’re out to right that wrong.

I find that these three models really help clarify why you’re on your particular crusade, even if you don’t use those precise words.

If you’re the revolutionary out to build a better mousetrap, you’ll focus on why the world absolutely needs what you have. Peoples’ lives will be improved, and never again will we trap mice the way used to.

When you’re fighting the underdog battle, you’ll focus on your opponent and why you’re faster, smarter, and cleverer than them. You’ll relish the thought of surprising the world by coming out of nowhere.

The ally, on the other hand, will emphasize who it is who needs your help. You, as servant and supporter, will help them achieve their goal.

In each case, I’m now starting to feel WHY you’re doing what you do, and I see your team gathering around to achieve this important goal.

Because it matters!