Leading with Purpose

Mar 27, 2022 | Leadership

“The process of articulating your purpose and finding the courage to live it – what we call Purpose to Impact – is the single most important developmental task you can undertake as a leader.”  Craig and Snook 

Research has shown that less than 20% of leaders have a strong sense of their individual purpose, and even fewer can put into writing a unique, unambiguous, and actionable purpose statement. This inability often translates to people limiting their aspirations or failing to achieve their most ambitious goals.

Your purpose is rooted in your identity and can be considered your personal brand – it’s not what you do for a living, but how you do it and why. Your purpose is what you’re driven to achieve as well as the strengths and passions you bring to the table no matter where you’re seated.

If a leader understands and operationalizes their unique perspective and what motivates them, they will dramatically increase their ability to achieve big goals.

In their Purpose to Impact framework, Nick Craig and Scott A. Snook recognize that finding your leadership purpose can be daunting; we live in a world where we’re constantly exposed to powerful messages about what we should be and how to lead. Their process acknowledges this and promotes individual expression in a step-by-step and practical manner that helps identify goals to put your leadership purpose into action.

 

Creating your Purpose to Impact Plan:

Create your purpose statement by:

  • Reflecting on your life story, looking for common threads and major themes to identify your core values, passions, strengths and pursuits. Ask yourself:
      • What did you love doing when you were a child, before the world told you what you should or shouldn’t like or do?
      • What was your most challenging life experience? How has it shaped you?
      • What do you enjoy doing in your life now that helps you sing your song?

Think about these questions with someone you trust who can act as your mirror

Explain, in writing, why this is your purpose:

  • Write in your own voice.
  • Remember to capture your essence and call yourself to action.

Set 3-5 Year Goals. How will you accomplish them?:

  • The focus here should be on how you will do it.
  • Ie., if your goal is to land a certain job, think about what kind of leader you’ll be.

Set 2-Year Goals. How will you accomplish them?:

  •  Ie., if your goal is to land a certain job, think about what new responsibilities you will take on? What do you have to do to set yourself up for the longer term?
  • Make sure to address your personal life too.

Set 1-Year Goals:

  •  Ie., if your goal is to land a certain job and your current position isn’t aligned with your leadership purpose, you can:
      • Change the way you do some tasks, so they become an expression of your purpose.
      • Add an activity that 100% aligns with your purpose.

Map Out Critical Next Steps. Outline actions you will take in the next 30 days, 3 months and 6 months to accomplish your 1-Year Goals:

  • Remember, small wins are key to changing initiatives to innovation.
  • List the activities/results that are most critical to your new leadership purpose/ambitions.
      • You’ll notice that some tasks seem much less urgent than they did before, while others you pushed to the side take priority.

Examine Key Relationships

  • Identify 2-3 people who can help you lean into your leadership purpose (this can be current mentors or an opportunity for you to grow your network).

Knowing and operationalizing your purpose is the key to accelerating your growth and deepening your impact in both your personal and professional endeavors.

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