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  • Nicky Affleck

Why doing things on purpose and with purpose is the only way I do things.

One important thing that is fundamental to what I do is ensuring that I understand the purpose behind the projects, teams, and organisations I work with. It may sound cliché, but I find that without a clear vision in place, it can be difficult to support a team to move forward cohesively. And it is surprising how often such a simple, yet crucial element of business gets overlooked.


So, what do I mean by ‘purpose’ in a business context?


I recently said in an interview that, “If you don’t have purpose then what are you doing - unless of course you are only about profits. And if you are, then reviewing that outlook is something you should probably be doing.”


Purpose speaks to so much more than just sales. In the grassroots sport sector, purpose takes on a wider perspective that encompasses those who work hard on the ground to make positive change and a meaningful difference. Our collective purpose is not only to make revenue; it is to create a better future for generations to come.


Regardless of what kind of business you work for, you will somehow be interconnected with the web of consumer interest and desire, whether those consumers are the general public or other businesses and organisations. Imagine trying to sell someone a product or service, without being able to tell them why they should buy it - you wouldn’t make much money that way! The purpose of what you do and why you do it should always lie at the heart of everything you do and every product or service you deliver.



Nicky Affleck Consultancy


Why purpose is always at the centre of my process


My consultancy is built on the back of years of senior leader and C-suite level experience in the UK grassroots sports sector. My lifelong love of sport and first-hand experience of the good it can do for health and wellbeing is what drives me to now use my experience to support grassroots organisations grow and develop.


I have proudly spent years investing my time and efforts in people and their teams, always ensuring I listen to the things that really matter to them. And by helping organisations clarify their purpose and mission, I believe I am helping them build a solid foundation to start from. This process not only has a positive impact on business effectiveness and purpose, it also goes a long way to empower people in those organisations to think differently and affect change in different ways. You would be amazed what can be achieved when people are made to feel valued and listened to in the process.


Why I am encouraging you to consider the purpose behind your work.


It is impossible to believe in a business if it doesn’t have a strong sense of purpose, if there is no clear, consistent messaging to tell you the why behind the what - and this remains true regardless of what role you hold.


You may have an idea in your mind of what your purpose is, but could you explain it to a stranger at a moment's notice? Is it embedded in your team meetings? In your team away days? In your strategy sessions? In your delivery? If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ then perhaps taking some time to consider the why, before the what might be what you need to help you find your purpose.


Nicky Affleck is an award-winning leader and consultant with repeated success in delivering purpose-driven strategies and delivering transformational change in the grassroots sport, youth, and not-for-profit sectors. She brings over 14 years of experience, and knowledge having led on high-profile social change programmes, sport for development initiatives and strategic growth programmes across London and the United Kingdom.


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