Posts tagged engagement
Why Purpose Makes You A Better Leader

According to Merriam-Webster, purpose is defined as the reason for which something is done or created, or for which something exists. Steve Jobs once said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.” You see, like Jobs and other great executives who lead with a purpose tend to be less stressed, happier, more involved and much more innovative. The moment you understand the impact of your actions is when your purpose is revealed. Are you leading to make a positive mark on the world or is it solely for wealth and authority?

Purpose is the one factor that makes all the difference when it comes down to leading an organization successfully. It is what separates transformational leaders from transactional leaders. Leadership that lacks purpose can cause more harm to a business than one with no leadership at all. Here are a few additional reasons why purpose is core to leadership:

Purpose cultivates clarity. It allows you to self-assess your ambition and reasoning behind the work you do. Again, are you motivated by money? Or are you driven by the idea that you have the ability to truly make a difference?

Purpose brings power. When you have purpose, you’re more likely to strive for something greater. You are also more probable to step out of your comfort zone and take bigger risks. In addition to becoming more resilient, purpose causes personal growth in an individual as well.

Purpose helps you engage others. Engagement ensues when there is a collective mission amongst your staff that inspires others. When a person’s emotions are involved, that individual will typically work much harder, use their initiative, and make better decisions.  

Purpose helps with decision making. By understanding your sense of purpose, you become more decisive and buoyant in your efforts to service a bigger cause. Especially during times of adversity, purpose is what maintains your empathy and power to endure.

To know your purpose is to know your meaning and what you stand for.The leaders you remember most are usually the ones who have empowered you in some way. The reason these leaders are memorable is because they all had a great understanding of their purpose. “It’s not enough to be busy,” said poet Henry David Thoreau. “…the question is: ‘What are we busy about?”

Maintaining Employee Happiness

You’ve heard the saying before, “happy wife, happy life.” Well this timeworn concept not only applies to the home front, but to the office as well. It’s really quite simple; when your employees are fulfilled the entire company reaps the benefits. It creates a positive work environment which contributes to the overall culture of the company, resulting in the organization’s success.

Employees who find joy in working each day are more engaged and connected to their jobs. A culture comprised of unhappy workers is detrimental to an organization. Therefore, it is your job as a leader to maintain a happy work space. So, on the heels of the second annual International Day of Happiness, here are a few suggestions to consider when it comes to your employees:

1. Treat Employees with Respect—Personnel on every level need to feel like they are bringing something to the table. By treating your staff with respect says that you value them as assets to the company. Subsequently, they become more concerned with helping the organization reach its intended level of success.

2. Trust the People You’ve Hired—Give employees opportunities to shine by allowing them to take on projects and responsibilities without second-guessing or demeaning their abilities. Trust that you’ve hired the right people; then set the strategy, define the goal, and get out of the way!

3. Clearly Communicate Your Vision—When your employees understand the company’s overall vision and goals, they become more aware of their roles and the position they play in the company. Lack of clarity or the feeling of confusion will only frustrate your employees more.

4. Give Feedback—Like I always say, “feedback is a gift.” In fact, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Not only will constructive feedback motivate employees to perform better, but one can also learn from their mistakes resulting in an increased willingness to learn.

5. Gratitude Goes A Long Way—Last, but certainly not least, show your employees how much you appreciate them.  Leaders are human beings too; it’s okay to express your feelings of gratitude.  When you let workers know you care, the appreciation will begin to emanate through work performance.

Just remember, happy employees lead to a happy business,thus resulting in an even happier boss!

The Lonely Executive

“It’s lonely at the top,” a reoccurring theme for most executives making their way up the ranks. Just as, the higher you rise, the narrower the environment becomes; and while challenges arise at every level in an organization, it is at the executive level that isolation can become problematic.

Not only is an executive privy to highly confidential information, but once you have reached leadership status, the future of the organization as well as its overall success rests heavily upon your shoulders. With that in mind, it is of utmost importance that as an executive leader, you maintain discretion at all times, which limits the executive to only a select few of confidants whom they can discuss certain business matters with. Additionally, to prevent the perception of favoritism or unfairness, leaders will also try their best at avoiding close relationships with particular staff members. Many executives are reluctant to let others come too close for fear that their imperfections may be revealed or that they may appear weak or incompetent as well. While we all know that no one person is perfect, as a leader, people will still hold you to unrealistic standards and consequently a sense of isolation soon occurs.

As isolation increases, having a support system will prove advantageous to the executive’s ability to lead successfully.  As noted in my book, ‘Corner Office Rules,’ an executive leader can’t lead effectively without being surrounded by peoplenot just any people but the right people.  At some point, every leader needs an outlet to vent frustrations, share concerns, express fears, and admit doubts.

While it is essential to have an internal support system within the organization, it is on the other hand equally as important to have just as much support outside of the company also. The suggestions that follow below prove beneficial for an executive seeking an outlet away from the establishment:

Serve on a Board:  Board of Directors are typically made up of other seasoned, high-level executive leaders who can provide a safe haven to discuss matters that you may not be willing or able to share with someone from your organization.

Associations: Take advantage of networking and development opportunities found in professional and industry associations.

Community: Develop relationships with key influential individuals in the communities who can give you access to their networks and, in some cases, help you drive your business goals.

In summary, the title executive in itself inevitably forces many leaders into seclusion, but the best way to avoid isolation as an executive leader is to actively seek out and identify opportunities for engagement.