The Lean-Agile Leadership Blog Series – Post 2 – Lead with Purpose
Lead With Purpose:
What exactly is a purposeful leader anyway? Try and think about a time when you knew someone who seemed really connected to the role they played, like they truly belonged doing what they were doing and did an amazing job at it. It seemed like it came natural to them and they were energized by what they did and who they were. It was in their DNA. You might say that this person was truly aligned and doing what they were meant to do.
Now, contrast that with other leaders or people you have observed doing just the opposite. They hated their jobs, each day was a struggle and you could just tell they were not excited to be doing what they were doing. When they spoke they weren’t passionate, engaged, or inspirational.
How did each of these scenarios impact you? When we’ve worked for leaders who truly inspired us, who you could tell loved what they did and brightened a room when they entered it, we too felt motivated to do great things. Whereas on the other side when we worked for leaders who lacked passion, who didn’t seem inspired, and who just took up oxygen it had a profound impact on how we felt about our day, our role, or our company.
As a leader in your organization which of these two do you think you align with the most right now? You really might have to dig deep to answer this one truthfully and that’s the point. Are you someone who inspires others and encourages them to do their best just by being who you are? Or are you yourself just getting by day to day punching the time clock and waiting to get the day over with?
Organizations today, more than ever, need engaged and inspired leaders who truly believe in their company, their products, and most importantly, their people. We want people to see that we belong there, that we care, and that we are aligned both internally and externally with our roles. We have to be able to inspire and engage the people in our organizations, and we can do this most effectively through our own behaviors. If people see that you’re passionate about your role, engaged in the project, and really feel like you belong, then it’s easier for them to feel the same level of connectedness.
Leading with a purpose means that we are embracing the lean concept of minimizing waste in our daily lives by removing things that aren’t focused and purposeful for us or our organizations. This can come in many forms. For some it might be clarifying the purpose of meetings throughout your business units. How many meetings do we have that seem to go on and on and, a. either don’t have a clear focus, or b. continually get hijacked by other topics ‘while we have you in the room’. One of the main causes for this is that these meetings lack a clearly defined purpose.
What are all the meetings that you attend?
Do each of them have a clearly defined purpose?
Do any of them overlap in content areas?
How can you inject purpose into meetings that are lacking one?
Write a purpose statement for each of your meetings and add it to the meeting invite.
Another area where we have the opportunity to inject purpose is in the work we do. Are you working on things that truly bring value to the organization and inspire you to do your best? Go through your own daily agenda and see where you have things that are less than purposeful for you or your business and start adding things to your day that are purposeful and valuable. This will not only help you, but again will show those who work for you what it means to truly embrace this concept.