The concept of purpose and purpose-driven leadership has become a hot topic among management gurus. Companies all over are interpreting these concepts according to their subjective understanding and implementing them in their management practices. We will try to explain purpose-led leadership here and understand why business leaders are rooting for it.
What Does Purpose Mean?
To understand purposeful leadership, let us first learn about purpose. Many thinkers, philosophers, and intellectuals have extensively written and discussed this esoteric concept throughout human history. Some have dabbled on purpose from a theological viewpoint, while others have secularized it thoroughly. It is challenging to define purpose in clear-cut terms.
It is the raison d’être for something or anything. But more importantly, it throws light on your being and brings you into focus. It has both material and spiritual connotations, but the concept revolves around your person, no matter how you look. Uncovering one’s purpose requires deep introspection and soul-searching. It is an undertaking that one takes with oneself, and it sometimes takes a lifetime to find your purpose in life.
The Meaning of Purpose From an Organization’s Perspective
Since we are dealing with purposeful leadership from an organization’s point of view in this topic, let’s define ‘purpose’ for an organization. According to experts, purpose defines the core values of an organization. These values have come to define the organization and are like the company’s ideological, philosophical, and intellectual heartbeat. A purpose is formally worded, clearly enunciated, and usually very effective when put into action.
What is Purpose-driven Leadership?
Like purpose, it is also rather challenging to define and explain purpose-driven leadership unambiguously. It overlaps several concepts of social and managerial sciences. We can say that purpose-led leadership is different from regular leadership. It is more people-centric, humane, and altruistic in its execution.
Profit takes the backseat here, and employees are motivated to work and achieve goals for reasons other than monetary benefits. You can judge a company’s commitment to purpose-led leadership by the way it chooses to address the issues of profitability, growth, and other similar concepts.
The Top 5 Traits of a Purpose Driven Leader
We have established that purpose-driven leadership is a very people-oriented concept. So, let us now see what functions a purpose-led leader performs to achieve this leadership style.
1. He Redefines Business Goals and Objectives.
Unlike other leaders obsessed with numbers and figures, a purpose-led leader defines goals, objectives, outcomes, and products based on their impact. He quantifies things in a novel manner and connects them with how they will impact their professional and personal lives.
2. It Synergizes ‘Purpose.’
A purpose-led leader is a leader on a mission. He is working hard to harmonize organizational, individual, and team purposes. Only when the individual and organizational purpose are aligned true greatness ensues. It ensures that now everyone is on the same page and there is no conflict of interest or overlapping principles at play here. Everything is running in a hassle-free manner.
3. Builds a Robust Support System for Colleagues
A strong leader is always encouraging, motivating, and siding with his colleagues. Through constant support, the employees go the extra mile and try to achieve high expectations. A purpose-led leader would interpret the work goals for employees so that they infer meaning from them. Through such meaningful engagement, the employees stay motivated to continue their work.
4. Sets the Inspiring Vision for Everyone to Follow
Leaders with purpose are visionaries; we all know that. If a leader lacks vision, he cannot be an effective leader. The same holds for a purpose-led leader. He sets the tone and puts forth a bold vision for everyone to follow. His vision inspires everyone to follow suit and act on his guidelines to make it a reality. But the focus here is on inspiring others to take action and not do it under any coercion and undue influence.
5. A Purpose-led Leader is Resilient
Lastly, we like to talk about being resilient in the face of adversities and difficulties. One very desirable trait of every purposeful leader is that he remains steadfast and resilient. The business world is full of ups and downs, and there are seldom smooth rides. It is where the true colors of a purpose-driven leader are exposed. He not only stands tall against such difficulties but also shields his team, bucks them up to work together for a better tomorrow, and nurtures a deeper understanding of work in them.
It is not easy to define such concepts that have overarching themes and concepts running side by side. Also, the human psyche is dynamic, ever-evolving, and takes inspiration from its surroundings. Such external factors also affect social concepts and ideas like management and leadership.