The evolution of a leader has been phenomenal in history. Different leadership styles to leading with empathy, being courageous and mindful; leaders have evolved over the ages, and they have best equipped themselves to lead in this digital age and era. Yet another concept taking strides is that of leading with a purpose!
Lead with purpose – what does it imply?
Leading with a purpose means having a clear and compelling vision for what you want to achieve as a leader and ensuring that all of your actions are aligned with that purpose. It involves understanding your values and beliefs, as well as the values and beliefs of your organization and its stakeholders, and using them as a guide to make decisions that support your goals.
Those who lead with a purpose are passionate about what they do, and they inspire others to follow them by communicating their vision effectively and by creating a positive and supportive work environment. They are also able to motivate and empower their team members to work towards achieving their shared purpose.
Leading with a purpose is not just about achieving material success; it is also about making a positive impact on the world and contributing to the greater good. It requires a commitment to values such as integrity, honesty, and social responsibility. By leading with a purpose, leaders can create a sense of meaning for their team members, which can lead to increased engagement, motivation, and productivity.
To lead with purpose, what qualities should a leader possess?
Visionary: A leader should have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and how they plan to achieve it; having a purpose defines it. They should be able to communicate this vision effectively to their team members and stakeholders.
Passionate: Passionate leaders are all about what they want to do and how they get it done. For a leader with purpose, being passionate about their work is an essential quality. They have a strong belief in their vision and are committed to achieving it.
Empathetic: Being empathetic and understanding the needs and concerns of team members and stakeholders is crucial for purposeful leadership. With empathy, such leaders are able to listen actively and respond with compassion.
Courageous: Courageous leaders are not afraid to take risks and make difficult decisions. They have the courage to stand up for what they believe in and to take action when necessary.
Authentic: A leader who is authentic and true to themselves often leads with the purpose of aligning the team and organizational goals. They are transparent and honest in their communication with others.
Collaborative: Collaborative leaders who work well with others, value teamwork, and encourage the input and ideas of their team members are ideal for purpose-driven leadership.
Resilient: Resilience helps leaders lead with purpose as they are able to adapt to changing circumstances and persevere through challenges and setbacks.
Ethical: Leaders who lead with a purpose are ethical and act with integrity. They are committed to doing what is right, even if it is not the easiest or most popular choice.
Leaders possessing these qualities create a positive and supportive work environment and inspire their team members to work towards a common purpose.
Define personal purpose
One’s personal life influences the structure of their professional life. In order to shape the purpose of their leadership, one needs to define what they stand for and identify what truly matters: values, ambitions, and the way one thinks the world should be. Ensure that the behaviour stems from the core beliefs by expressing those internal truths through actions. Only a unique personal purpose will work — a general mission statement won’t do. It is then possible to examine how the personal purpose relates to the leadership role and how it aligns with the organization’s goals.
Put the purpose into practice
The role of purpose is, to figure out why you’re here and why everything you do is important. With this knowledge, you should be able to re-centre yourself at the moment. Your decision-making and action-taking skills will be tested when you use them. You must pause and ask yourself: Does this put my gifts to good use? Who is this helping, and will it benefit them in the way I intend? How can I multiply its impact? In any moment or meeting, your purpose must help you answer these questions.
The purpose of your leadership might be different from the purpose of your organization, and that’s okay. Identifying how your personal purpose contributes to the success of your organization will make it easier to achieve success. Organizational and personal purposes can coexist and benefit each other. You might sometimes be inspired and driven by your company’s purpose. In other moments, you may be the source of inspiration and motivation for people at your organization, creating an infinite loop.
What is an organization’s purpose?
Typically, a company’s mission statement includes its purpose. It intends to inspire and motivate the organization. And possibly, it references responsibility, sustainability, or community.
If you don’t have an actionable, functional purpose that impacts people’s lives, it’s only an aspiration. Some leaders believe that pointing out this aspiration will somehow allow it to manifest in their organizations. For your purpose to become reality, however, you need a solid plan and good change management leadership.
Develop a leadership purpose that elevates your performance
Most leaders go through three stages, take a moment to consider where you are at:
Creating or accepting an aspirational purpose for people to feel good about is the first stage. There is usually no connection between it and the “what” of the organization (its performance). There will be no change in how the organization operates, no change in how decisions are made, and nothing will change.
The second stage of the process involves asking yourself why, understanding the relationship between purpose and performance, and putting it into practice. Your performance matters for a reason that you haven’t fully examined. In your organization, performance does not motivate your people to do their best work or give them the energy to create, strategize, and grow. Purpose does that! To enrich the performance, one must boost the purpose.
The final stage is where a leader pauses, reflects, and understands the purpose mindset: your own personal purpose and how that connects to your organization. Knowing why your organization needs to perform beyond satisfying just the shareholders.
“Leading with a purpose” is more than just a buzzword – it’s a mindset and a way of life that can have a powerful impact on the team and the organization. By staying true to personal values, setting clear goals, and empowering teams to be their best selves, a leader can create a purpose-driven organization that is truly unstoppable.
Authored by Richa
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