Why Purpose Makes You A Better Leader

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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?”