The Power of Collective Purpose


On a rural road in Texas, a man drove his car into a ditch. He was out of town, so he didn’t know where he was or who to call. Thankfully, a local farmer came walking by and happened to have his horse named Buddy. The farmer offered to help the man and hitched Buddy up to the car. He yelled, “Pull, Nellie, pull!” Not surprisingly, Buddy didn’t budge.

Then the farmer cried, “Pull, Buster, pull!” Buddy didn’t move an inch.

Again the farmer called out a different name: “Pull, Coco, pull!”

Still nothing.

Then the farmer finally said, “Pull, Buddy, pull!” And the horse bore his hooves into the dirt, pulled as hard as he could, and moved the car out of the ditch.

The man who had the car accident was grateful, but he was also kind of confused. So he asked the farmer why he called his horse by three different names before calling him “Buddy”.

The farmer explained, “You see, ole Buddy is blind. If he thought he was the only one pulling, he wouldn’t pull worth a flip.”

I recently heard this simple little story, and I love it. It’s a vivid and compelling illustration of the power of teamwork. It challenges us (me especially) that we can’t go it alone. Here are two reasons why:

  1. We need other people. We were not meant to live alone, and we won’t function well in our God-given roles and responsibilities without the encouragement, camaraderie, and connection of other people.
  2. When we work with other people, our efforts are amplified. When everyone is pulling in the same direction, we pull harder. Our individual contribution is greater and more fulfilling when we connect it to a collective purpose that’s bigger than ourselves.

Today, take a moment to recognize the people around you. Remember that when we work together our efforts are more effective. And intentionally work together with others create something extraordinary.

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Today, business means more than just mere products and services. Your organization needs to stand for something. Branding is what you tell the world; leadership is how you make it come true.

No one knows this dynamic better than Kevin Paul Scott.

Companies turn to Kevin for advice on how to up the meaning-quotient in their businesses, so that employees and customers alike champion the business as if it were their own.

Let Kevin come and teach your group about how to build a business and communicate corporate values in a way that resonates with consumers.

His speeches include:
• Building a Business with Meaning
• Leading When the Majority is Wrong
• In Changing Times, Hold to Unchanging Principles
• The War for Talent: Recruiting and Retaining Top Tier Talent
• Essential Exchanges: What You Have to Give Up to Go Up