Here's my current way to think about the four related concepts of Purpose, Identity, Meaningfulness, and Satisfaction.
I find the delineation between Self (Corporate Strategy level) and Social (Job Roles level) particularly useful - separating Purpose from Meaningfulness has implications on role design and communications.
For an individual
|What I am here to do.My life’s work.|
My reason for being.
|Who I am.What I am about.|
What makes me special and worthwhile.
|Meaningfulness: “[A job feels meaningful when we] generate delight or reduce suffering in others.” -- Alain de Botton in The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.||Excellence, achievement, and recognition.“I have done well.”|
|Self||Social (self plus others)|
|Internal beliefs||External actions and outcomes.|
|The big big picture.||More focused/task-oriented.|
|Whole of life.||Jobs, projects, tasks, relationships, community, and other life activities.|
For a business
|Our reason for existing as a business.||Brand.Core value proposition.||Create delight and reduce pain.||Excellence, achievement, and recognition.|
|Corporate strategy level||Job roles level|
|Internal beliefs that informs strategy and other decision making.||Operations, execution, outcomes, and social programmes.|