The purposeful leader has both inner and outer awareness and shares what they know
- Understanding who we are as leaders, is critical to taking our companies to the next level
- It takes an understanding of your purpose and values, which you can then use to motivate and engage your teams
- We have to concentrate on our adversity quotient (AQ) and our emotional quotient (EQ)
- Fear of failure has no place in being a purposeful leader
- Purposeful leadership comes from the heart and embraces congruency: actions match purpose
Purposeful leadership is not a matter of chance. It is understanding who you are as a leader – what makes you, what you’re good at, what gives you energy, what makes you flow. Only then can you spend your time on the things you really need to spend it on. Purposeful leadership means you delegate better, decentralize, and help the company scale faster.
It’s a matter of looking inward. Once you know what makes you tick, you can catapult your company to the next level. All too often, we are our own restrictions, the roadblock to success because we don’t know enough about ourselves and what our role should be in the company. Getting bogged down in the day-to-day and wearing every hat doesn’t offer any real understanding of where we should be and where we shouldn’t.
Entrepreneurship changes the world–not governments, big companies, or institutions. Small businesses make an impact, but only if we, as entrepreneurs, have the inner and outer awareness that makes an impact within teams, clients, and the community. It’s an opportunity to shift the world, but as with many external changes, they are propelled by changing the inside.
Understanding purposeful leadership
Brené Brown talks about courageous leadership, with four pillars that include vulnerability, value clarity, trust, and rising skills. The best leaders, she says, are authentic, know themselves, and are congruent with their words and actions. Keeping these ideals in mind, we must have integrity and enough self-awareness to not ask others to do something we are not willing to do ourselves.
Purposeful, authentic leadership requires understanding our own purpose and values and using those to filter all decisions. This leads to living with more purposeful intent, creating more flow and energy, and generating measurable impacts.
In the early 20th century, we concentrated on IQ, which focused on our ability to identify logical, rational solutions. Since the 1990s, we’ve been focused on emotional quotient (EQ). EQ, sometimes referred to as emotional intelligence, is about developing understanding by making emotional connections. This approach enables adaptability. As adaptive leaders, we become like a compass keeping our organization headed north, whatever the world throws at us while remaining authentic and true to our plan.
Evolving beyond IQ and EQ, modern leaders are focused on adversity quotient, our adaptive and resilient intelligence. With AQ, we achieve flow, the ability to just be upon achieving a level of understanding and expertise. Only then can we truly continuously adapt and be successful over time.
The role of purpose in leadership
We often forget that we should go into business guided by purpose, values, and what we’re great at. Many of us got into business by chance. The most important thing in purposeful leadership is “know thyself.” Assessments such as Myers Briggs, DiSC, Kolbe, and other personality assessments can help us learn more about ourselves. They are a good way to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
In purposeful leadership, we focus on psychological strengths and weaknesses. However, weaknesses shouldn’t be seen as something to improve upon. Instead, purposeful leaders surround themselves with people who complement us, whom we can inspire and motivate by communicating our purpose. It’s a personal development journey that hones leadership skills. Once we understand who we are, we can align company goals to our personal purpose.
How to develop purposeful leadership skills
What is your current leadership style? To create a future, we must understand the present. It’s essential to create a personal development journey and be open to practices that will help us understand more about who we are. Meditation, reiki, sound baths, ice plunges, and tonal frequencies are all wonderful for becoming developing an intrinsic understanding of ourselves. These practices provide a gateway to a relaxed mindset that supports creativity, adaptivity, and self-reflection. They emphasize the journey, not the end state. When it comes to personal development, there’s no end in sight.
In line with developing our EQ, we match intent to the message by understanding the audience. We understand and make decisions from a place of knowledge instead of, as Brené Brown warns, from a place of fear. Emotional decisions come from the heart. We must surround ourselves with the right people to take us to the next level: peer groups, organizations, and friends on the journey. Part of developing our EQ and AQ is understanding the types of people that are going to best support our journey.
Another essential thing to embrace is change, the only constant in the universe. We are not going to succeed at everything, and it is essential to learn from failure. Reward achievements. Reward failures because they are a learning experience. We must celebrate those things that help us learn and be better leaders, and we must include our teams in recognizing these achievements.
Empower and level up your team
Many times, we forget, as we start growing and evolving as leaders, to bring our team along with us, which creates a gap that will eventually create a break. Everyone should understand that we’re leveling up, and we should provide that same opportunity to our entire team. Develop a culture of growth and learning. Show them how to embrace failure as a learning opportunity and foster an understanding of how to adapt and thrive in changing times.
Constructive feedback and coaching are essential, as is open communication, including quarterly conversations that ensure that teams are continuously upskilling, growing, and making inroads to get where they want to be. People today are not looking for just a job, but also want a sense of purpose and belonging, and a path for growth within the company.
Create a safe environment for experimentation, where clear and open communication is encouraged, and people are free to say they are stuck, that they are wrong, and that certain things are preventing them from getting where they need to be. Open the door to creativity and idea generation. Promote collaboration and teamwork because part of the dynamic requires building strong interpersonal relationships.
Everything comes back to us as leaders and entrepreneurs. The more we know about ourselves and each other, the more trust is built, and trust is the foundation of an effective team. As Patrick Lencioni says, trust is the number one dysfunction in a team model. We must show our vulnerability and encourage others to do so as well because that builds trust. Trust also helps in resolving conflicts in a healthy way. Healthy conflict leads to commitment, which leads to accountability, which then produces long-lasting results.
How to lead with purpose in challenging times
It’s no secret that many workers are looking for new jobs. A poll of currently employed workers by the job board Monster found that 96% are looking for a new job. Pay is a driver, of course, but another is a lack of engagement – no belief in the vision because they don’t see themselves as part of it. Engaging people means involving them in our vision so they understand where the company is going and their part in it.
Wondering how to level up your team? We must present ourselves and our organizations as adaptable and agile in dealing with the world today, changing to be part of something fun and creative. People want to be heard, and they want to be themselves, something we also require as purposeful leaders. There’s nothing worse than having to be a different person at work than we are with our friends and family. To be understood for who we are creates a sense of acceptance that is invaluable.
Of course, everyone isn’t going to be a good fit. Some fall and do not get up, and purposeful leadership means balancing compassion and accountability. Being empathetic and understanding our own triggers provides us with an understanding of others. Leverage empathy to support employees and elevate them to the next level so you can all grow together.
Purposeful leadership is, at its core, simple
Purposeful leadership brings success to you, your company, and your team. The self-knowing, self-growing journey never ends, which is the key to effective leadership. We are nothing without purpose, and purpose informs our vision. It is the sharing of our vision that draws others to our cause and spurs their own personal improvement efforts.
Self-awareness brings success. Through it, we are leveled up and, in turn, so are our teams. We become agents of change that bring success personally and to our business.
At the Profit Recipe, we’ll work with you to understand and develop the leadership skills you need for success. We’ve been there, done that, and learned valuable lessons along the way that we’re eager to share. Join our community of entrepreneurs and share your own experiences to help yourself and others navigate the purposeful leadership journey.