Leading With Purpose: 15 Great Examples

What is leading with purpose?

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:

1 - IBM's CEO

To help businesses increase their productivity, efficiency and competitiveness by providing them with the best information technology services.

2 - Google's CEO

To help organize the world's information and make it universally accessible to people all over the world.

3 - Customer Service Manager

To provide our customers with the best post-purchase experience such that they will become long-life customers and raving fans.

4 - Nonprofit / Homeless Organization President

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.

5 - Football Coach

To coach young players into talented sports professionals that can entertain fans and win games.

6 - City Mayor

To create a beautiful and prosperous city where young couples want to settle, old people want to retire and outsiders want to visit.

7 - Teacher

To inspire children with my knowledge and transform them into the next generation of scientists, doctors, entrepreneurs and artists.

8 - Team Captain

To lead my peers into brilliant performances and to generate positive results such that fans are excited to come and see us play.

9 - Motivational Speaker

To inspire people into becoming their best, follow their dreams, and achieve happiness by taking massive action.

10 - Political Party Leader

To make our party regain power and transform our country's economy into a high-growth, job generating engine.

11 - Christian Pastor

To impact 1000 people with the message of Jesus and bring them closer to Christianity.

12 - Military Leader

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.

13 - Civil Rights Activist

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.

14 - United Nations President

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.

15 - Police Officer

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.

Why is purpose important in leadership?

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.

What happens if you don't lead with purpose?

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.

Most purpose statements are too generic and abstract

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.

Leading with purpose goes beyond business

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.

Communicate your purpose with your team

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.

Create goals based on purpose

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.

Track progress towards your goals

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.

Get a coach to create your purpose statement

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.

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