Why AI isn’t going to steal your purpose — if you know it

Jimmy Burroughes
5 min readFeb 1, 2023

This week I posted a poll on a number of social platforms asking a straightforward question. In light of AI creators, should I keep blogging?

The question was in relation to the huge steps forward that AI has taken. On one hand, AI technology can create content quickly and efficiently, so why should I bother? On the other hand, AI content is often lacking in the personal touch and creativity that comes from a human writer.

Sidenote — Was it evident that the previous paragraph was actually created by an AI with only light edits from me? It can be hard to tell.

The real reason I asked the question about continuing blogging, was related to the Purpose of my doing it. I love to share some of the things I am thinking about and to share ideas or link concepts in ways that AI can’t do — yet. It is also a great way to allow me to clarify ideas by putting them in writing, trialing new concepts, and testing opinions with the over 2000 people who get the blog each week. I learn from doing it and I enjoy it. I’ve always been clear on the Purpose of the blog. If I have nothing to share, I don’t write one.

The result of the poll was really interesting. Just under 40% of voters thought I should definitely keep going. 50-something % thought there was room for both, (AI and Human created content), and the remainder (just over 15%) said it was time to stop.

The good news is that I will be continuing, but this year I will also be adding elements and combining the blog with some new initiatives that are bubbling away as we speak.

So let’s link the need for having a Purpose back to leadership and your role.

As a leader, it’s important to recognize the crucial role that a sense of Purpose plays in your success and the success of your team. If your team doesn’t know WHY they are doing what they are doing, it can be really easy to get disrupted or misdirected through the normal things that happen in every business. Things change — priorities shift, and customers ask for new products or services. Without a clear purpose, you can end up in a situation where the tail is wagging the dog.

Why is it important?

  • Studies have shown that when employees understand their Purpose in the organization, they are 85% more engaged in their work and organizations see a 20% increase in performance.
  • A study by Forbes found that organizations with a clear and communicated Purpose have a 40% higher likelihood of achieving long-term success. It’s not just the employees that benefit from understanding their Purpose, it’s the company as well.
  • A study by Deloitte found that companies with a strong sense of Purpose outperform the S&P 500 by a ratio of 2:1.
  • A study by the Harvard Business Review found that companies that invest in employee development that aligns with a company purpose have a 218% higher income per employee than those that don’t.
  • Furthermore, a study by The Conference Board found that companies that have a strong sense of Purpose have a 20% higher return on assets and a 42% higher return on equity.

(AI provided all of these stats when I asked it to source them for me).

Real-world examples of companies with a strong sense of Purpose include Patagonia, which has a mission to “use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” As a result, Patagonia has a highly engaged and committed workforce, with a turnover rate of just 15%. This Purpose is something that inspires employees toward something bigger. Their actions have a contribution and effect which lead to changing the world. That is far more compelling than just making profit and is something employees can really get behind.

So perhaps whilst this is a new generation of blogs, it is also time for a new generation of leadership. Using AI as a tool to help you achieve your Purpose. Many industries and professionals are fearing AI. I see it as a way of achieving your goals. No matter the advances in our lifetimes, it is unlikely to remove the need for human character and the essential elements of humanity that real leaders bring to the table.

The first step of finding your Purpose starts with something no AI can take from you. A conversation. Write down for yourself, what is the reason you are doing what you do. Then ask your team to do that individually. Then ask them the purpose of the team. Then discuss your answers and see how the conversation goes. That human connection and shared experience is AI free and it is the first step in transforming your team culture.

If you’d like to follow along as we unpack more about Purpose and the other elements of a high-performance culture, please consider subscribing to the blog if you haven’t already.

Speak soon,


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Jimmy Burroughes

Showing leaders and teams how to change their conversations to change their business performance results. jimmyburroughes.com