Why Do You Lead? Understanding Your Purpose

Leadership comes with many responsibilities; being authentic, having integrity, leading by example, to name just a few. We have high expectations of those who lead us. When those expectations are not met, we are not going to follow them above and beyond what is expected. We see them as a positional leader, one who is a leader in title only. We actively withdraw from the leader – follower relationship. We will actively disengage and of course, an important aspect of leadership is the ability to engage our team. If we cannot get others to share the vision and goals we are aiming for, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to lead.

So just how do we engage others? How do we get them to want that vision as much as we do?

The answer lies in our purpose. Why we do what we do. The most successful teams are those that share a purpose, each and every one of them.
So what is a purpose? It is the reason behind what we do. The very reason our business exists. It is not only about making money, that is a result, not a purpose. It should not be the sole reason for going into business.

Running a business can be challenging, so can managing a team. Both are made so much easier when the why is clear. Even during the toughest of times, your purpose can be an anchor, it will keep the bigger picture in mind, and it will put most challenges into perspective. They become a hiccup along the road, rather than an insurmountable obstacle.

Quote on life's purpose by Mark Twain; "The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why."

With strong convictions at the front of mind, we can deal with most challenges, from economic to staffing issues. Your purpose should be the reason you get out of bed and keep going when times are tough. A strong purpose fuels determination that lets you work long hours many days each week.

It is also the reason every member of your team will be right there beside you. Before you can share your fundamental purpose with them, you must be very sure of it, you need to know, without question, why you do what you do. Like most aspects of leadership, it begins with the self.

The Benefits of Finding Your Purpose

Leading strategically is a key ingredient to success. When your purpose is clear, your strategy also has clarity, every step of the way. Adaptability is a strength of many leaders, they know how to adapt and change course when the path is veering away from the goal.

Strategy that is built on a solid reason for being, and a clear vision to aim for, gives an ongoing awareness of exactly how the choices we make today will impact the overall success of your business.

I have worked with many small business owners. As they become clear on their why, they become energized and passionate about the work they are doing, and what needs to be done to get their business back on track with their long term vision and purpose in mind. They know they are on the right path, even if it’s not the easy path. It is the right one.

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