The Second Step Is To Discover Your Righteous Cause?

Dr Richard Shrapnel PhD
3 min readJan 15, 2023
Photography by Rob Curran on

Reflection … December 2022 — January 2023

Over these two months, we will ask you to consider one question.

Active Knowledge Question:

Are you drawing the real potential that exists in your people, and in yourself, to the forefront and applying it to a righteous cause?

And in responding to this question, we will consider four key themes — Potential — Righteousness — Impossible — Language — and their role in bringing unrealised potential to the forefront for you personally and in your business.

A Righteous Cause

When you use the language of ‘righteous cause’ it sounds like you might be on the path of correcting some social injustice, to right a grievous wrong. And while some businesses do take on such causes from time to time, the language of ‘righteous cause’ is in fact, far closer to the heart of what every business does every day than many leaders appreciate.

Every business exists for a purpose, but many business leaders struggle to identify or recognise what that purpose is. And in default, they substitute profit and market value, which are not and cannot be in themselves a purpose as it is self-defeating in such a role.

In the language of Peter Drucker, profit has no more to do with the purpose of a business than breathing air has to do with the goals of human life. Both are necessary for sustainable life but are redundant regarding purpose.

The core competitive strength of a business lies in the combined talent and effort of every single person who works within and with that business. The role of leadership is to muster and focus on that competitive strength.

And this is where purpose and righteous cause become one.

Purpose should be crafted with a focus on customer need, future customer need, where the value that the customer is searching for is succinctly identified. Such an expression typically carries significant stretch and leverage and will deliver real value to a community.

And this is where the righteous cause is found.

Your purpose is now focused on delivering greater customer value than ever before, a challenge has been cast, one which will deliver benefits to the community you serve. And in which everyone may take pride in their contribution.

And now purpose is mustering the combined talent and effort of everyone and focusing their energies.

Some further reading:

A righteous cause is the purpose for which your business must exist, as it will draw the real potential and competitiveness of your entire business to the forefront and focus it on setting a level of competitiveness no other player can defeat. And from which the profits that so many in business chase will be merely one of the outcomes delivered.

Your quest will be the next massive stride in continuing to deliver of your purpose.


An entirely new level of performance.

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All the best in the success of your business,

Richard Shrapnel