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How Unconscious Purpose Can Transform Your Culture

Many companies don’t reach their full potential, and their CEOs can’t understand why.

It’s the CEO’s job to come up with solutions to problems, and great CEOs are great at solutions. But they can’t do that job when they can’t identify what the problem is.

These days, in the wake of the Great Resignation, employee disengagement is one of the biggest problems CEOs face. 

  • 66 percent of US workers who feel disengaged, according to a Gallup report.

  • 74 percent of those workers who are either actively looking for new work or are open to new opportunities.

  • The stress associated with not being fully engaged at work costs the US economy 550 million days off a year, according to the American Psychological Association.

  • That translates to a cost to the economy of $500 billion.

When employees are disengaged, the consequence is resignation, which leads to watching good people leave for reasons you don’t fully understand. Productivity and profitability suffer.

Most engagement surveys and profiles focus on issues: whether you’ve been acknowledged recently, whether you have a best friend at work, what you think of your manager. These are good things, but they are symptoms of engagement or disengagement, not root causes. 

What are the causes of engagement?

Engagement derives from each person being committed to the purpose of the organization and seeing it as their own aspiration. 

In the absence of such an engaging purpose, human beings default to their unconscious purpose. This unconscious purpose is almost always fear based because it supports our instinct for self-survival. In modern society, that equates to staying in our comfort zone. The problem that holds your organization back lies in the unconscious mind of your team (which includes the CEO).

Each of us has a purpose that motivates our behavior without us being aware of it. This unconscious purpose has served us well in the past, so it becomes our comfort zone.

No attempt to change company culture can work if it doesn’t address the unconscious fears that shape it. 

Real change comes from showing people that we don’t need to be limited by our unconscious motivations. And that requires replacing our unconscious purpose with a conscious commitment to a higher purpose. 

Finding our unconscious purpose brings about a fundamental change to the whole structure of how people work. It helps people see themselves and their jobs completely differently than they did a few weeks beforehand, or even a few moments ago. It is transformational.


We break down Unconscious Purpose in our bestselling book, The Great Engagement, available on Amazon.


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