Are You Leading with Purpose?

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: February 6, 2015

Do you lead with a purpose?

If you own or manage a business my guess is that you have a clear mission. There is a reason you go to work every day, one that helps get you out of bed every single day. If you manage, supervise or lead others, however, there is a challenge. [Tweet “Your mission or sense of purpose must be something that you can engage others in.”]

To be effective as a leader you must be purpose driven, more importantly you must be able to engage others in your purpose. After all, if others don’t buy-in to your purpose, then they are simply going through the motions. Are your employees guilty of this? If so, there is something you can do to overcome this.

When Ron Jackson took over JCPenney he wasn’t able to engage others in his purpose. By firing several of his senior leaders and scores of employees, his chance to engage those remaining in his mission for the future of JCPenney was doomed from the start.

By engaging others in your purpose you frame them into your picture, helping them to connect with the future vision of the company, and your mission to achieve that very vision.

Becoming a purpose driven leader requires integrating key practices into how you interact with and lead others, an approach that has been practiced for decades by some of the most powerful and engaging leaders of our time, like Herb Kelleher.

Here are the five key principles to purpose driven leadership:

  1. Communicate with your employees on a daily basis helping them understand how they contribute to the broader team. More frequent communications increase engagement and open opportunities for discussions.
  1. Use face to face as your predominant means to communicate over email. It’s always easier to engage in person. Face to face is the preferred means of communication for purpose driven leaders.
  1. Be clear with the objectives for your team. Being clear about team objectives and holding individuals accountable to perform their role in support of the objectives is a key to creating a sense of purpose.
  1. Always answer “why.” Investing a significant amount of your time explaining to employees “why” things are important answers one of their most pressing concerns. It’s difficult to connect with purpose if you aren’t clear on why the purpose is important.
  1. Make yourself available. Do you practice making yourself available? Nothing is as important as taking a few minutes to speak with employees. Doing so on a regular basis offers opportunities to field concerns before they become pressing and opens the door to obtaining fresh perspectives.

Peter Drucker once said the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer. I will suggest that the only way to achieve this purpose is by being a purpose driven leader.

Question: Are you a purpose driven leader? How are you practicing and incorporating the five key principles above in your daily leadership routine?

© Shawn Casemore 2015. All rights reserved.


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