The one thing that all highly-effective leaders share is a well-defined sense of purpose because this is what drives organisations — it’s like the fuel in the engine to propel everyone in the right direction. Without purpose how do we know where we are going? How do we build a compelling and sustainable business plan? How do we AND our people know what to do next? ‘Purpose’ feeds in to a company’s culture and ensures that team members feel as though they are contributing meaningful work to the end goal.
People are drawn to follow leaders who describe an unshakeable purpose, and who exhibit strong values around that, without these the company may flounder or spin on its wheels. Purpose influences decisions and helps to shape the future of the organisation, the leader and their team.
And ability to tell others why we do what we do (as opposed to what we do) is the thing that engages them, connecting them to our cause or our belief. A vision, or purpose, statement is typically a one-sentence statement describing the clear and inspirational long-term desired change resulting from an organisation’s, or programme’s work (or a personal endeavour). It is not a long ramble that loses its way through lack of clarity. Great examples of clear, compelling purpose or vision statements can be found here.
Strategies for developing your purpose:
1. Develop a purpose statement
A purpose statement outlines your and the company’s vision and the mission outlines how you live that every day. The business plan is strategy for accomplishing it. A purpose statement must be authentic and based on the true values of the leader and the organisation. The purpose statement must act as a guide for decisions and behaviours, telling people what they are meant to be doing. It needs to attract new talent that the company seeks to hire or work in partnership with. It must also be crystal clear and easy to articulate to all. It’s easier to motivate team members when you communicate a purpose rather than focusing solely on financial and business objectives. Leaders need to consider what their legacy will be and how their contributions will impact the future of the company and its people.
2. Communicate your purpose to your team in a way that inspires
A purpose is of no substance if it is not communicated clearly. This is crucial. If those who follow you don’t grasp your values and what you stand for they cannot help you to achieve your goals. All companies need leaders with a purpose, and it’s those who do who thrive. Companies cannot fulfil their true potential if they are unsure of what they want to be and where they want to go. Once a purpose statement is in place, that is clear and understood, is the point at which real results will begin to transpire.
Leaders are chosen because of their ability to have an impact and to make a difference. Without clarity of their purpose they will struggle to accomplish this. Purpose, knowing where the finish line is and what it looks like is what engages, motivates and inspires people to work collectively.
Tania Watson is the founder of Creative Coaching and an executive coach, organisational consultant and leadership specialist. Creative Coaching is a successful company dedicated to the development of senior leaders in organisations through one to one coaching, intact team development and group facilitation. If you or someone from your organisation would like to have a no obligation conversation about how Creative Coaching may be able to help, please email Tania directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.