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How I Connected My Personal Purpose to Our Organization’s Mission

Here’s why I created a personal mission statement and how it’s had a lasting impact on my career.

Steve Burrows, how you can connect your personal mission to your business purpose

As the oldest child in my family, my dad always encouraged me to get a better job than the one he had. In my mind, that meant choosing a career that most people hold in high regard—a doctor, a lawyer, engineer, or dentist.

I loved the thought of being a hands-on professional and hoped to become a doctor—a path that would’ve given me the opportunity to build one-on-one relationships with patients. But after an unsuccessful attempt at getting into medical school, I decided to explore other options. I remained hopeful that there would be other opportunities for me to serve others in my career outside of working in direct patient care.

How I determined my purpose

During graduate school, I took a health law class from an attorney who worked at Intermountain Healthcare. He taught us about Intermountain’s mission, vision, and values. It was then that I realized that there were opportunities for me to make a difference, not necessarily through direct patient care like I’d once hoped, but through service and education.

I worked patiently over three decades to become part of the Intermountain team. I began working for SelectHealth in 2012, and it’s been a privilege to work each day to further our mission of Helping People Live the Healthiest Lives Possible. To me, this mission directly affects my team, our customers, and the communities we serve.

I decided to write a professional purpose statement after reading “Purpose to Impact Plan,” by Nick Craig and Scott Snook. After using the deliberate and thoughtful process suggested in the article, this became my reason for coming to work: “Make a difference always supporting my team, customers, and employer in achieving their potential.”

Those who have influenced me

When I started my career in healthcare almost 40 years ago, I came across an anonymous quote that read:

“If you concentrate on building a business and not the man, you will not achieve. But, if you concentrate on building the man, you achieve both .”

Since that time, this quote has been a prominent fixture in every office I’ve occupied and has been my guide for how to conduct business.

Academic researcher Dr. Clayton Christensen has always been an influence on my career. His work in innovation opened my eyes to finding new ways to deal with seemingly unyielding problems using disruptive thinking. Rather than measuring his success on the revenue he’d generated for many companies throughout his career, he instead measured his success on how many individual lives he’d touched. This has always left a big impression on me and caused me to ask, “What will be my lasting impact on others?”

Measurable and immeasurable rewards

As a leader of marketing, we’ve organized our team in such a way that we can support company growth. This entails knowing our customers, pausing to create a plan, and strategically building our team to execute that plan. This requires us to align our strengths, skill sets, and interests with our ongoing strategic marketing efforts.

When the Affordable Care Act went into effect, we took it upon ourselves as a company to educate the community to help our customers better understand a complicated process for obtaining individual healthcare coverage. This required our team—first and foremost—to understand our audience then go into the community and educate. In my time working at SelectHealth, we’ve implemented many similarly successful campaigns that have had a direct impact on member retention and growth rates.

While witnessing growth in membership is rewarding, it’s the human interactions I experience daily and the personal growth I witness in others that has been more important to me. My joy comes from seeing people use their talents and ideas to deliver great outcomes.

The value of our mission

Not all of us have perfect circumstances that allow us to reach our full potential—that includes our own personal health. We can improve the health of others—regardless of their starting point—by providing messages, products, or services that encourage being active, eating better, managing stress, and building social relationships. Establishing these things allows us to reach a level of health that’s within our own unique reach.

As a SelectHealth caregiver, it’s been a great opportunity to make a difference, positively affect others, and serve people by helping them live their healthiest lives. This is my purpose and our mission.

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Post Author

Steve Burrows

Steve Burrows is the Director of Marketing at SelectHealth. He’s worked in healthcare for nearly 40 years and has been a passionate leader specializing in business and product development, strategic planning, and motivational leadership.