Purpose: The Driving Force of a Leader’s Vision
Have you ever noticed that when you walk along the beach your footprints leave a path in the sand that documents your journey? But, once the waves crash along the shore, the evidence of your footprints ever existing has been washed away. If you had the vision to foresee the waves posing this threat, perhaps you would have planned a strategy to walk a little further away from the water’s reach.
Some businesses in our country have had a similar problem. The waves of change posed a threat to their brand’s existence, but the companies lacked a sense of direction and vision for redirection. Borders is a prime example. As the brick and mortar bookstores faced the advent of e-books and Amazon’s rising dominance over the publishing world, Barnes & Noble adapted its vision by coming out with the Nook. Borders resisted the tides of change, which resulted in their stores closing.
As leaders, you have the responsibility of maintaining the vision for your organization. You may have the passion to lead, but your success and sustained growth depends upon your ability to channel it into a purpose that will secure your brand’s existence in its field.
The 8 Ps of Exceptional Leadership Blog Series
PRINCIPLE #2: BE PURPOSEFUL
What It Means: Focused intent on your vision with a clear sense of direction.
“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” ~Jonathan Swift
Leaders are change agents who are positioned in the company to stand out as a beacon of greatness and guidance. “Purpose” is one of the principles that will allow them to lead in this capacity.
Leaders must have the ability to see things differently. This sense of direction and vision can come from many sources. They may examine data or hold conversations with employees and clientele. More importantly, they must have the foresight and resolve to perceive unconventional methods of creating solutions.
Join me for a moment of reflection–If leaders do not have purpose, how and where are they leading their employees?
If they have no vision, how can they influence and persuade others to follow? Better yet, how can they provide a meaningful message that builds and sustains customer loyalty? Purposeful is not a noun but a verb. From my perspective, it is “intentional action” designed to enrich and create a believable picture of greatness for others.
“True vision requires courage, especially when it is yours alone.” ~Barbara Tolliver-Haskins
It takes courage to develop and act upon a vision. Sometimes your purpose may deviate from the norm. But conformity never conceives creativity. Your vision for where you want your company or department to go will enable it to reach its fullest potential and make it stand out among its competitors.
How can you discover your purpose?
Oprah has advocated the idea of a vision board for people to represent visually their goals, desires, and dreams. This idea can be adapted for leaders to use. You can take different approaches to this concept. You can develop a vision board for the sense of direction for the company or department you manage, or you could create one that will help you conceptualize yourself as a leader. Since leaders are always looking for ways to grow in their position, it may be ideal to build upon the mission statement you created for the first principle.
Whichever approach you use, the first step to making the vision board is to look for pictures, images, or words that represent your purpose or vision. What goals do you have regarding your vision? What do you hope to accomplish? If you could break down your vision into actionable steps or tasks, what images would you use to convey them? Whatever you choose should clearly identify what you see, where you are going, and how you plan to get there. The next step is to arrange and place the pictures, images, and words on a board or you could make it all digital.
Your vision board should clearly communicate your purpose, and it should be posted in an area that you can review it often.
Navigating the Course to the Next Principle (Personally Accountable)
Now you understand the importance of purpose as a quality that leaders should possess. When you have established the vision and sense of direction that you want to take, you are now entrusted with a major responsibility. The next blog in this series will discuss how to handle your purpose and your leadership position with integrity.
Need a plan of action to develop exceptional outcomes in your leadership or clarify those factors that may impede your personal brand? Executive Coaching Solutions will help you discover those unique talents and attributes that will enable you to rise to the top. Contact me today for an introductory consultation on how we can help you to be “all that you can be.”