The Path To Success Lies In Purpose
January 12, 2016
I recently had the honor of inducting my father, Dan Mason 1.0, into the National Radio Hall of Fame. As I wrote my speech, I reflected on his 40+ year career, thinking long and hard about what the key to his success was. In an age where radio CEO's are emerging from every business EXCEPT within our own industry, how did my dad do it? What made him transform his life from a poorly paid overnight disc jockey into one of the most respected leaders of the post-consolidation era in radio?
The answer is Purpose.
Purpose is not "increasing revenue by 3% in Q4, thus creating better shareholder value." While we are a for-profit business and we need to make money, accumulating more wealth is NOT a purpose... it's a result.
As the author and speaker Simon Sinek points out, purpose is "what makes you get out of bed in the morning and why anyone should care if you did." More simply, purpose isn't what you DO. It's what you BELIEVE.
Anyone who had the pleasure of working for my father over the years knew he believed in the power of the microphone. He believed that radio, more so than its satellite or pure play competitors, has a unique opportunity to connect with its audience. His purpose was simply for the radio stations that he operated to serve the local communities to which they were licensed.
One of the best examples of this happened during his tenure at CBS when he made the decision to bring WCBS-FM back to the New York airwaves. Many cited it as a bold move.
Yet, Dan Sr. would tell you it was the easiest decision he ever made, because he didn't do it to make money...
He did it for the city of New York.
He did it because, in its own little way, WCBS was part of the fabric of the city. The fact that it's now the #2 station in America's biggest radio market, billing a gajillion dollars is icing on the cake. Having a purpose led to the results.
I mention this story to not only make a point about why I respect my father, but to also serve as a gentle reminder to the radio and record communities that the problems facing our industry are fixable. When you make decisions from a sense of purpose, you are ultimately acting from a place of love, which by its very nature, can never fail.
Don't believe me? Pop quiz! Name a company that went bankrupt because they spent too much time and money on philanthropic efforts in the world.
Conversely, look at the number of corporations who have gone bankrupt, or continue to hang by a thread, because they made decisions based on fear.
"Oh my god, how are we going to hit budget this quarter? We need to look attractive to Wall St. ... let's reduce staff. Let's double our remaining employee's work load for a minimal pay increase. THAT WILL FIX EVERYTHING!
Fear based thinking will single-handedly block you and your organization from experiencing the highest levels of fulfillment and success that come from being aligned with serving the greater good of the universe.
According to a recent survey, 1 in 3 Americans feel disengaged with their job. You might be one of them. I recently talked to a friend - a successful major market air talent - who said they don't feel that they have any control over how their company operates. That may very well be true. However, you can take control of YOUR life, happiness, how you show up in the world, and what you bring to the table each day.
After spending a considerable amount of time on my own self-development, here is one thing I have learned and absolutely know to be certain. The first step to feeling "unstuck" in your life, career, and relationships begins with getting clear about your purpose.
What is your purpose? Why are you here?
When you find the answers to these questions, you can transform the way you approach your career, as well as your life.
As an air talent, having a true sense of purpose will change the way you communicate and connect with your listeners. If you are a programmer, it might make you focus less on that old-school, overproduced, imaging package that you think will turn the ratings around in favor of developing a community strategy that enables your station to improve the lives of listeners. Marketing directors, maybe it's time to retire that "pick a purse" promotion that you have recycled for the last ten years (only 1 in 10 millennials say they care about luxury handbags anyhow) and come up with a fresh idea that helps your audience be healthier (a much bigger touchpoint for the life group). If you are a market manager or DOS, maybe that charity effort that has been discussed won't create a 40 percent profit margin through sales sponsorships, but you do it anyway simple because it's the right thing to do.
I guarantee you that if you are acting from a true sense of purpose, the revenue will follow.
And if you are reading this right now and have no idea where to start when looking for your purpose, that's ok too. If it were an easy solution, the world would be a much different place. But I'd really love to share the tools that I've learned to help you find answers.
As a free gift to my radio and record friends, I'm offering a free, 30 minute, "Creative Breakthrough" coaching session to the first ten people to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a 100% free offer. Let's discuss your hopes and dreams. What are the things you want to create this year? How do you find your purpose? How do you infuse that purpose into all aspects of your life? The road to change begins with finding clarity.
If free coaching isn't appealing to you, no worries. You can always head over to creativesoulcoaching.net and sign up for more free emails and life hacks to help you on your path to a more fulfilled life.