The catalyst which drives a leader to continue to move forward in difficult times is the “why”. It is the company’s purpose and values which propel a leader to stay inspired to continue pressing forward to achieve the goals of the company. The “why” allows the leader to focus and attack work with a sense of urgency and vigor. As long as the “why” is front and center, a leader can remain positive and overcome obstacles in order to achieve long-term sustainable results. Leading with purpose, especially when trying to sustain during turbulent times of change and uncertainty, requires resilience. It requires a resilient mind, behavior and action.
So what happens when there is a lack of purpose in your work?? Or the “why” has up and gone and you are just going through the motions. Well, it will definitely be apparent to others. It may manifest or be perceived as a lack of direction and commitment. This will cause results to suffer. Other times a leader can lose the passion they once had for the business. This is not an unusual occurrence nor does it signify ill-will. If this is the case, the leader must step back or move aside. But this is not the end of it…there is more work to do.
The leader must try to figure out what is getting in the way of developing a purpose that will ground their leadership style. There are several things that can be blockades to purpose. Perhaps, the leader is not interacting enough with the team they need to inspire. The leader could also be so focused on the future that they do not manage the present. They may talk about the “purpose” and “the why” without driving action. All of these blockades cause a leader to be out of sync with their purpose. The most detrimental blockade is when the work and the goals that inspire the leader are not supported by the organization. This by far is the worse. This leaves a leader isolated with no support from the organization…..rendering the leader ineffective.
What needs to happen now??
Here are a few tips for a leader who has lost sight of their purpose:
- Make the time to think about your purpose and what you care about. Figure out how you want to spend your time, energy, and talents.
- Know why you want to be a leader. Understand the negatives and positives of leading and the burdens it can present. Talk to people in similar positions and ask for feedback.
- Identify your uniqueness and use this to help inspire your sense of purpose.
- Minimize distractions and competing priorities. Hone in on the things that align with your purpose. This will keep you focused and motivated.
- Reflect and move forward. Reflect on the times in your career when you were full of energy, driven and enthusiastic. What was different about you and your work at that time?? Try to re-create those conditions in your current situation.
It’s important for the leader to not internalize these times in the valley which can be very negative. Remember, you are the captain of your destiny and purpose. Focus on it, and lead your BEST life!! Everything will fall into alignment from there.
Have you ever lost sight of your purpose?? What did you do??
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