Is delivering the numbers your number one priority? Turning back the clock ten, five or even two years ago, this may have been the case for many. Now, businesses and their leaders are not simply judged on their financial performance and delivery of KPIs, they now need to deliver the numbers and do so with high moral standards and with clear purpose.
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Today’s social media-driven society means that businesses are operating, as Stephen Bartlett often says in his Diary of a CEO podcast series, in “glass boxes.” Consumers and employees alike expect transparency and judge based on what they see and feel.
What does it mean to lead with purpose?
Purpose in this context refers to the business’s reason for existing, beyond making profits for shareholders or owners. As Simon Sinek famously described in his TED Talk, this is “why” you do what you do.
Why lead with purpose?
If you know your purpose as a leader and what you bring to the table, it becomes a guiding light, a “North Star.” If shared, the purpose combined with values will positively impact culture and performance since purpose-oriented companies enjoy 30% higher levels of innovation and 40% higher workforce retention than their rivals, according to research from Deloitte.
Being purpose-driven makes sense. Purposeful organisations are more transparent, motivating and fulfilling to work for, creating a powerful employer brand and compelling value proposition. This helps with employee engagement, retention and overall happiness. Externally, having a purpose leads to increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations, giving a competitive edge.
What are the challenges?
It is not for the faint-hearted, you must be prepared to be consistent and make decisions with purpose in mind because today’s workforce cares about how organisations treat their employees, customers, communities and the environment. Through the pandemic, we have seen that people will boycott brands that don’t meet their expectations.
It can be difficult. Being a leader is a lonely place, and many leaders are not challenged because they are surrounded by those who say yes, you need your people to tell you when you are heading off course from your purpose.
Top tips for leading with purpose
Make a plan
To lead with purpose, you need to plan your activity to support it, creating a golden thread of purpose from that “North Star” to every role and activity. Then, you can clearly articulate the goal-oriented actions that must occur.
Having courage in your own convictions is one of the simplest ways to help you lead with purpose. However, a word of caution, overconfidence for a person with unrealistic goals will not be able to go very far.
Be positive and inspire
A positive attitude and supporting your team to be their best will go a long way in helping your team to function as well and achieve great things.
If activities, projects, and initiatives do not align with the purpose and mission, they are a distraction. Keep up to date by building in effective communication channels, so that you do not lose track. In this world, there are plenty of things which serve as temptations and distractions.
Finally, a leader with purpose does not only go about making long speeches or telling others what to do rather this person who leads with a purpose also lead by example so that all employees emulate them and try their level best to live up to their expectations at all times.
MAD-HR’s leadership coaching and strategic HR consultancy support can give focus to your employer brand, aligning your HR strategy with your purpose. Get in touch on 01473 360160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org