The secret of success is constancy to purpose. – Benjamin Disraeli
“Fail to plan, plan to fail” is one of my all-time favorite sayings. However, this is an incomplete view of success, this saying is more focused on the “what” rather than the “why.” In order for leaders to effectively lead, we absolutely must have and focus on the why before we can focus on the what! This is called purpose. I wish I could say this articulation of purpose was mine, but it is not. I heard this from Simon Sinek in an EntreLeadership podcast.
Related: Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action (Ted Talks)
Everything breaks down to purpose. It may often annoy many of our piers and leaders to ask “why, what’s the purpose,” but the truth is: purpose matters! Purpose gives meaning to responsibilities that would seem pointless with out it. This is actually the topic of Sinek’s book, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action.
When it comes to purposeful leadership we must make sure we are purposed in two areas:
1. Leading Ourselves: It has been said in many different ways, by many different people, but it is always truth no matter what way it is said, “you can not lead others until you lead yourself!” We must ask, “why am I leading and what value do I get from leading?” If we can’t answer these questions, answering them is priority number one!
Related: Four Rules for Leading with Purpose (Forbes)
2. Leading Others: In an Inc. Magazine interview, John Baldoni says, “Purpose is the catalyst for the organization.” If we are going to successfully lead others towards goals and accomplishments we must communicate the purpose. Purpose is the difference between employees and team members. Dave Ramsey says, “an employee is someone who shows up late, leaves early, and steals from you.” Team members are bought into the purpose and will give their blood, sweat, and tears to make sure that purpose is fulfilled!
Related: How to Lead with Purpose (Inc.)
Leading requires purpose, what’s yours?