Free college! This is one of the messages of many of those in the running to become the next president of the United States.

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal describes successes Kalamazoo, Michigan, has had with a privately funded paid tuition program. The program, Kalamazoo Promise, began in 2005. This provides enough time to evaluate both successes and failures. On the upside the city has helped 5,735 students achieve higher education than they might not otherwise have had. On the downside, there is also a high rate of dropouts from the program. The most often cited reasons are lack of family support and lack of purpose.

Some students who participated in the program experienced depression and ultimately dropped out. As researchers explored this, they found that these students took advantage of the program because it was available and because they were taught to “…’go to college, go to college,’ and not ‘go to college for this reason.’”

This is a relevant example of how leading with clear purpose overshadows any ability you might have to throw more money at your transformation.

If you are leading a transformation, and your employees cannot relate to the outcomes, or don’t understand the purpose, they’ll “drop out.”

There needs to be a compelling reason for your employees to gain the desire to follow you on your transformation journey. And this reason needs to resonate with them. Even if you pay your employees more money, the still won’t go on the ride.

Call to action: When starting your next transformation, be absolutely crystal clear on your purpose. Be sure employees understand the outcomes and understand the value of the transformation in terms that resonate with them. Be inspirational. Be excited about the outcomes you want to achieve. Show them the way.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,

Steve

 

 

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