Being an authentic leader is all about having a sense of purpose. Purpose means the reason why a person exists or why they want to do something. For authentic leaders it is like having superpowers – s strong sense of purpose mixed with courage, resilience, and empathy. Who wouldn’t want to have those leadership powers, right?
Without purpose, a leader is like a captain without a map, feeling lost and uncertain. Purpose helps leaders to navigate through all the confusion and noise of decision-making. It also helps them keep going when things get tough, just like a warm hug on a cold day.
But purpose is not just for leaders. It also inspires others and gives them direction and a shared vision to work towards, just like a sports team working together to win a championship. Purpose builds trust and credibility, which is important for any effective leader. When a team trusts and believes in their leader, they’re more likely to follow their lead and take the risks to go beyond what just is to what could be.
Purpose also creates alignment and cohesion, bringing everyone together to work towards a common goal, like a glue that holds everything together. It helps the team see how their work fits into the bigger picture and creates a sense of togetherness that can lead to great results.
Now, let’s talk about how to cultivate purpose in ourselves and our organizations. Here are some tips to get you started. Think of it this way, cultivating purpose is like growing a garden – it needs regular attention, getting rid of distractions (the weeds), and nourishing with passion and motivation (the fertilizer).
First, reflect on your values and beliefs.
Think about what’s important to you and what you stand for. Write them down and see how they align with your vision for your organization. This can help you get clear on your purpose and communicate it effectively to others.
Second, connect with your team.
Remember, your purpose is not just about you, but also about your team. Understand their values and goals to create a shared purpose and alignment.
Third, communicate your purpose clearly and consistently.
Your purpose is only meaningful if it’s communicated effectively. Use storytelling and examples to make it tangible for your team. Communicate your purpose consistently over time, which builds trust and credibility.
Fourth, align your actions with your purpose. Walk your talk!
Your actions as a leader speak louder than your words. Ensure that everything you do is aligned with your who you are authentically. This means making tough decisions that prioritize your purpose over short-term gains and being consistent in your actions and decisions over time.
Finally, celebrate purposeful wins.
When your team achieves something meaningful, take the time to recognize and celebrate it. This reinforces the importance of a culture of purpose in your organization. Cultivating a culture like this takes time, effort, and a little bit of love, but it’s worth it.
You and your purpose are the starting point. Purpose is the key to authentic leadership. It’s like bringing together the sun, rain, and fertilizer that makes every plant grow stronger and healthier.
Until the next time, here’s wishing you all the Clarity (and discovery of purpose) that you deserve!