February 27, 2023 4 Min Read
Your Purpose Is …
The famous author Simon Sinek suggested that a powerful way to lead with purpose is to be clear about your “why.” Your why is what drives you to achieve your goals as a leader, it’s your purpose.
Have you recently stopped to reflect on your purpose? If not, take a minute now to ask yourself, What is my passion? What gives me a sense of intentionality and direction? What do I feel drawn to, or compelled to explore?
In some professions, purpose might be clear. Many doctors, for example, would say they are called to save lives. A member of the armed forces might say “I serve to protect the country.” For others, especially in the business world, there are many possible answers. A recent study revealed that nearly two-thirds of employees reflected on their purpose in life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One thing is clear, lack of clarity about your purpose, or no purpose at all is a concern that needs addressing for you, your team and your organization. Let’s explore how you can develop your purpose!
Develop Your Purpose To Foster Purpose In Others
I like to remind my clients that purpose is that overarching sense of what matters. Fostering purpose is about inspiring others through sharing your vision, passion, and value of the work. To foster purpose in others, one needs to start with self. Here are some tips I find particularly useful on how to find your purpose. These are quiet-time, self-reflection exercises.
What do you most think about, desire, and dream about?
- Fast forward five to ten years and look back. Imagine that you are proud of achieving one thing. What is it?
- What virtue(s) do you admire the most in others?
- If you could not fail, what would you choose to do or achieve?
Fostering purpose in your teams or organization can come from you sharing your purpose.
To foster purpose and make it stick, try the following approaches. Demonstrate your passion by displaying your emotional investment and feelings about the company vision, your team’s vision, or your personal vision. Sharing stories that relate to purpose is one way to add feelings to the logic of a business purpose.
I invite you to ask yourself: how do I demonstrate my commitment to my vision, in a small way, everyday?
Living with purpose can be done in small and big ways. For example, every meeting can begin with a statement reminding others of why we’re here, who we are serving, and the benefits we provide. Use your purpose as a reference point in decision making and as the rationale for decisions made, performance evaluations and career development. Recruit those that share the vision and passion, create goals that bring purpose to life, reward those to demonstrate and foster their own purpose.
“If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.” – Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
Why Having Purpose Matters
As with other leadership qualities and behaviors, your sense of purpose influences your people and the results they deliver. Employees are more engaged and perform better when they find their work to be tied to a company-wide purpose. (That should be true for you as well!) With work consuming a lot of our time on a daily basis, and even more so when working virtually, people are increasingly seeking purpose through their work.
In summary, as a leader you have a chance to make purpose part of your personal brand. You can develop your reputation as one who consistently shares purpose in an authentic manner. You will become a magnet for like-minded people and help shape the culture of your organization.
If after reading this, you would like help defining or refining your purpose, or sharing it with others, your TaskHuman coach can help. Book a 1:1 to explore the possibilities.