Roy Spence on the Power of Purpose

A great talk by Roy Spence, chairman of GSD&M, which helped create Southwest Airlines’ famous purpose-driven marketing program centered around the freedom to fly. It’s an hour and half long talk, but contains loads of inspirational advice on life as well as business.

Some of my favorite parts:

We don’t have jobs. We have work to do.

Stay hungry. Stay humble.

Everyday you go to work, your purpose is to improve someone’s life.

Purpose is the definitive statement about the difference you’re trying to make in the world.

But it’s been proven great brands with great purpose have to advertise less. Because it is word of mouth.

And perhaps the best business organization management lesson I’ve ever came across was at the end when he showed a music performance by a artist group. (around the 58:00 mark) And used that to explain what purpose sounds like.

  • Firstly, everybody has to know the words to the song.
  • Secondly, you have to listen to one another.
  • Thirdly, you have to step up when it’s your turn.
  • Fourthly, it’s beautiful when you sing together.
  • And fifthly, it helps when you have a beautiful song to sing.