Transform Your Leadership Impact

How to Define & Explore Your Own Path to Purpose-Driven Leadership

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Nick Craig

Leadership can be messy and paradoxical. How can we be both vulnerable and strong? Be truthful yet not divulge too much? Make decisions and keep an open mind?

Your leadership purpose is the unique gift that you bring to the world. No matter what job, title, or occupation you hold, your leadership purpose is what defines who you are as a leader. While your leadership style may vary as you change roles from parent to community volunteer to manager, your leadership purpose will remain unchanged. The simplest way to understand your leadership purpose is to ask the following question:

“If I were to disappear from my current job/role and someone else with equivalent skills were to take my place, what would people miss most?”

The answer to that question = a clear expression of your leadership purpose.

Leadership that has been purposefully spelled on managers desk

Why Does Purpose Matter?

“If you don’t know it, you can’t fully live it. And if you aren’t living it, you can’t lead from it.”

The foundational driver behind purpose is where in our lives it makes itself known, why it is essential, and, most importantly, the dangers of its absence. In other words, when we take away our titles, roles and expertise, what is left to help us face our most difficult challenges? The answer to that is PURPOSE. When you get clarity of purpose, you see the world through a unique filter which gives you the opportunity to be more creative and innovative about your practice of leadership. It creates ‘meaning’ from events and actions that shape your impact on your organization and the world around you.

What is Purpose

Purpose is not a cause, a passion, an aspiration, or the sum of your values. Purpose is that unique gift that you bring to the world. It brings new meaning to even the most difficult challenges, remains a constant throughout your life, and allows you to reconnect with your inner curious child. This is not to say that purpose is without pitfalls, because those who truly live and lead from purpose do so no matter who is supporting them or the odds against them.

Organizational Purpose

Discovering and leading from purpose is realized through 3 primary gateways: The magical moments from childhood, the most challenging life tests, and a key passion that has stayed with us over an extended period. By learning how to access these gateways we open the door to the purpose that has been leading us our whole lives and can finally begin to own it and to lead from it.

If purpose is the unique gift we bring to the world, what happens when you combine individual purpose with that of the organization? When a leader’s purpose aligns with their organization’s that is where the magic happens and where we see the most impact. This is not an everyday occurrence, and one that cannot be faked or imitated. There is nothing more important than who is given the key roles in an organization, and if their purpose is at odds with the organization’s it can spell disaster.

Process to Discovering Purpose

Discovering and leading from purpose is a transformational process. At the Authentic Leadership Institute, we have worked closely with corporate partners to craft and deliver leadership development programs, with a focus on Purpose-driven Leadership to enable individuals and organizations to realize and lead from purpose.

Define and explore your own path to purpose-driven leadership by attending our next public program, Purpose to Impact™. Led by HBR author Nick Craig, Founder of the Authentic Leadership Institute, this program provides a unique learning opportunity for yourself and will help you evaluate how this approach can strengthen your leaders, delivering greater impact across the organization.

For more information about this event, please go here.