Choosing Inspiration and Success

In Washington, D.C., a city exhausted by constant chaos and uncertainty, January’s swearing-in of the most diverse Congress in history was a welcome respite. You couldn’t help but smile at the pictures and the remarkable stories behind them – regardless of your politics. Each seemed almost bursting with hope; hope that they can be a part of something bigger, that they can help to make a difference.

I started my career as a journalist with that same hope. A product of the Watergate era, I believed in the power of the press and storytelling to make a difference. That belief has only grown stronger as I’ve continued my career in public affairs and social impact.

It has been a privilege to work with leading brands and non-profits committed to living their values. Now I am grateful to start a new chapter in my career at an independent and rapidly-growing marketing communications firm, Markstein, that cares deeply about its team and culture. I knew within hours of meeting the spirited, curious and focused team that Markstein was the right place for me.

Most of us, it turns out, are looking for work that is about more than a paycheck. Employees who feel connected to a bigger purpose are more engaged. Companies that identify and articulate a purpose perform better. This is especially true for members of the millennial generation. A recent Deloitte survey revealed that business’s motivations and ethics are out of touch with millennials’ priorities. The survey saw a 15 percent decline in agreement that “business leaders are committed to helping improve society” and a 12 percent increase in belief that “businesses have no ambition beyond wanting to make money.”

There is an emerging consensus that old models of business success (based only on the need to grow sales and profit margins) are not sustainable, because they fail to accurately measure societal costs. Businesses that live their values thrive and innovate, while those focused only on short term gains fail.

It’s simple: Choose to be inspired, every day. Choose to live out that inspiration and success will follow.

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