Brighton Leadership Group

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3 Ways to Lead With Purpose

We are celebrating Freedom week in honor of the Rebel Leader Community launch. You are free to lead with purpose is the theme of today’s post. While profit matters, it is purpose that activates and motivates people.

We were working with a high-tech firm a few years ago, helping them align their strategy and culture. When talking with the CEO about the purpose of the organization, he said it was about making $XXX million dollars. After exploring that a bit further, he realized they didn’t have a clearly defined purpose that motivated and inspired their people.

Before you can lead with purpose, you need to have one! Fortunately, we were able to work with a cross-functional team and facilitate a productive two-day session to create an initial purpose statement that the leadership refined and adopted.

Once purpose is defined, here are 3 ways to lead with it:

  1. Start With You. As a leader, have you ever considered the question, “why do I want to be a leader?” This is your leadership intent. If you know the answer, consider how well you honor that intent. If you don’t have an answer, pause and reflect on your purpose for being a leader. Starting with your own leadership purpose will help you lead others with purpose.
  1. Prioritize – How does the way that you manage your team and work reflect purpose? Prioritize your purpose in decisions and communication. Make purpose the through line of all that you do and talk about. “He who has a why (purpose) to live for can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
  1. Tell Stories – reinforce your purpose through narrative. In these uncertain times, your team needs something to stand on that doesn’t change. Purpose, or your underlying why, creates consistency and certainty.
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