To understand what leading with purpose is, we need to understand the meaning of the words leader, leadership and purpose.
Leader: someone who commands a group of people.
Leadership: the ability of a leader to influence and guide those under his command towards accomplishing a purpose.
Purpose: the reason something gets done.
Therefore, leading with purpose means to inspire, influence and guide people in a way that is aligned with a group's goal.
Examples of leading with purpose statements:
To help businesses increase their productivity, efficiency and competitiveness by providing them with the best information technology services.
To help organize the world's information and make it universally accessible to people all over the world.
To provide our customers with the best post-purchase experience such that they will become long-life customers and raving fans.
To assist homeless people in NYC to live a life with dignity and attempt to remove as many of them from the street as possible.
To coach young players into talented sports professionals that can entertain fans and win games.
To create a beautiful and prosperous city where young couples want to settle, old people want to retire and outsiders want to visit.
To inspire children with my knowledge and transform them into the next generation of scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs and artists.
To lead my peers into brilliant performances and to generate positive results such that fans are excited to come and see us play.
To inspire people into becoming their best, follow their dreams, and achieve happiness by taking massive action.
To make our party regain power and transform our country's economy into a high-growth, job generating engine.
To impact 1000 people with the message of Jesus and bring them closer to Christianity.
To lead a group of men and women into the battlefield to protect our nation, our way of life, and our culture from forces of evil.
To help create a society where every man, woman and child can aspire to be treated equally, no matter the color of their skin, their gender, or their religion.
I will work towards ending war and misery, make nations act towards common goals, and bring forward a vision for a more prosperous and sustainable world.
I will use my power to influence people to respect each other and work towards a common goal of building a peaceful community where we can feel safe.
Without a purpose, you don't know what's your role. Purpose provides you with guidance. It's the reason you do what you do.
Purpose gives you a final destination. If all your actions come from purpose, then you are more likely to reach the goal.
You will find it more difficult to unite people around you. Organizations that are led with purpose have more engaged employees that are less likely to skip work or quit.
You are less likely to achieve your financial goals or get the impact you want in the world. If you don't lead with purpose, your team will drift.
One mistake leaders make when defining their purpose statement is making statements that are so generic they could apply to anybody: "I want to make the world a better place".
The other mistake is making statements that are so abstract they are entirely meaningless. Don't be that leader. Be specific and bold.
Purpose has nothing to do with your business bottom line. It goes beyond that, it's about the impact you want to have in the world, your destination.
Any type of leader can lead with purpose: business, religion, military, non-profits, you name it.
It's very important that you communicate not just your organization's purpose but also your personal purpose as a leader.
Your followers need to know you're aligned with them and with the organization's mission. You should absolutely share your purpose with your team.
Once there is a clear purpose, you and your team should create goals to achieve your purpose. Don't just hand over those goals top-down. Instead, involve your team in the goal creation process.
After you have set goals and a system to achieve them, you need to track results through performance metrics. Have a handful of metrics your team can control and carefully adjust your system as you move away or closer towards your goals.
If you find it hard to create your own purpose statement, find an executive coach. He will help you find what your organization needs from you as well as what makes you tick.
The combination of your organization's mission and your personal strengths and goals shall be your purpose statement.