Lee J. Colan writes in the Dallas Business Journal that three people were crushing rocks at a construction job. When asked, “What is your job?” the first said, “My job is to do what I am told to get paid.” The second said, “My job is to crush rocks.” The third said, “My job is to build a cathedral.”

Which of these three do you think would be the happiest and most productive? No doubt the third person, who understood his job was far greater than just crushing rocks. He understood he was contributing to a purpose greater than his own efforts.

All of us want a clear and driving purpose for our lives; we want to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. Without a purpose, your employees are just putting in time. Their minds might be engaged, but their hearts will not be. A team without a purpose is a team without passion. Your team may achieve short-term results, but it won’t have the heart to go the distance.

A purpose is your team’s bridge to a brighter tomorrow … and you have to build it. It is not a project goal, financial target or strategic plan. A compelling purpose is a reason to be excited about getting up and going to work every day.

Be bold. Step back and look at the big picture. Think of how your team improves conditions for others. Your purpose should answer the question, “What difference are we making?” It should stir the emotions.

For example, a customer call center may have a purpose to brighten the day of each caller. An information technology department’s cause could be to improve personal productivity. For a purchasing department, it might be to ensure that all company products are made with the best raw materials available.

Engage your employees by asking them how their jobs relate to the team’s purpose. Some questions you might pose:

• “How does our purpose make you feel?” (If you hear responses such as proud, important, connected, helpful or like a winner, then you’re on the right track.)

• “Does our purpose make you look at your job differently?”

• “What can you change or do differently to better support the purpose?”

Great leaders don’t depend on chance, they lead on purpose.

Read more: Great leaders inspire through strong purpose – bizjournals: