A view from Jonathan Earle

This quick read with purpose pays dividends

Jonathan Earle, head of customer strategy and development at Telefónica, reviews Do Purpose by David Hieatt.

I happened upon David Hieatt and his company by chance. A friend commented on LinkedIn about this cool website that allows you to choose the music that his factory should be listening to when making jeans – because jeans and music are a marriage in heaven and Hieatt runs a jeans company.

His story is more involved than that, though. Cardigan in Wales used to make jeans. They then had to close the factory and Hieatt wanted to bring jeans back to this part of the UK and create 400 jobs in the process. He is very well-equipped to write about the importance of purpose.

I don't read much – I am not one of those who has my head in a book on leadership, on the way ants work together as teams to be the most effective unit possible. I know I should, but I just don't.

This book, however, caught my eye – firstly, because it looks welcoming: it may be 150-odd pages, but it's pocket-sized, with a wealth of empty space, so even I could read it in an hour. I also wanted to pick this up as I have worked in companies that have purpose and others that don't, and I know how powerful having one is.

Hieatt's book is for – well, everyone; designed for  entrepreneurs as well as seasoned professionals who are looking to make a difference in a company that may be doing well but wants to do better, or used to be famous and now wishes it was again.

It's fast-paced, engaging and has been written by someone who knows his stuff, is doing it as we speak and writes with passion – 5/5

The book covers why having a purpose is so key. How too few companies have pinpointed why they are in business (if you haven't seen Simon Sinek's TED talk, then I recommend it); how having a purpose not only brings together like-minded individuals who want to make a difference, as they believe in the cause, but also drives team motivation, customer and staff satisfaction and commercial returns.

It's fast-paced, it's engaging, it has some lovely sound bites that you can remember and use and, above all else, it has been written by someone who knows his stuff, is doing it as we speak and writes with passion.

You could do a lot worse than check out his company's website: have a look at the Do lectures he runs and pick up this book. It's an hour of your time – what have you got to lose?

Key takeouts

  • On a double-page spread – ‘’The competition have more of everything than you’’ on one page, and on the other: ‘’The competition have more of everything than you’’. The left hand side lists all the amazing elements that they have, from more budget, people, resources, brand equity… The right-hand side lists the increased bureaucracy, the inability to make a decision, the politics, the sheer size, more internal fighting. I am guessing we all look at our competitors with rose-tinted specs.
  • We are all given 86,400 seconds every day in the ‘Time Bank’. Use them wisely doing things that really matter, rather than filling your day up with menial tasks.
  • Write your business plan on a doormat. Be laser-focused, forensic in the use of words. If you can’t explain it on a doormat, then no one will ever get it.
  • Long-term relationships with your customers should never be sacrificed for short-term profits. It is much easier to find a new bean-counter than to find a new customer. Enough said.
  • Sport is important. Whatever you do, take time out. Whether it’s a run, a walk, a bike-ride or daily meditation. No one can function optimally 24/7. Find a way to release the stress and clear your head.

Do Purpose by David Hieatt is published by The Do Book Company.