Working with Purpose

The Korn Ferry Institute introduces a new framework that helps people define and clarify their personal purpose.


Annamarya Scaccia

Writer and Editor, Korn Ferry Institute

Personal purpose is what connects your most authentic, true inner selves to the impact you aim to have on the world around you.

Purpose is the meaning you give to what you do—the principles and standards that guide how you live and the choices you make. Over time, your purpose can and most likely will change, as priorities and resources evolve through life and work experiences. 

The Korn Ferry Institute finds that purpose resides at the intersection of three components: personal values, mission, and resources. You are purposeful when the three elements are in sync, enabling you to act in ways that are intentional, thoughtful, and deliberate. And when the three align, you can tap into that new source of energy and inner strength that gives rise to hope, resilience, and intrinsic motivation.

In our latest report, Working with Purpose, the Korn Ferry Institute introduces a new conceptual framework of purpose that helps people uncover their own mission and values, and connect these elements to their capabilities. Known as the Korn Ferry Purpose Framework, this new model moves purpose from all-encompassing yet elusive statements to a concrete, research-based definition that allows people to define, clarify, align, and activate their purpose, turning concepts into actual realizations.

After all, if you are clear on your purpose, you are better positioned to navigate and achieve success in an uncertain world. You are better able to manage complexity, tolerate ambiguity, and given today’s crises, cope with stress and rise above challenging times. Personal purpose provides an anchor in a fast-changing environment—a core principle to serve as your North Star.

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