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Leading with Purpose

February 13, 2012

This one is for leaders. If you lead in any capacity at all you need to take hold of this. But before I begin, I must say that this post has been a long time coming, and I’m excited to share what I am learning.

One thing that is wonderful about being a leader is the opportunity that one has to speak into the lives of others. This opportunity to cast a vision and bring others along into the vision and direction of an organization, church, team or even a breakfast club is something that cannot be overlooked or downplayed.

Many times, it seems that leaders feel that they must have the answer or the solution and it is their job to communicate their knowledge and philosophies to their team. It seems though, that great leaders or level five leaders as Jim Collins refers to them in his book Good to Great, do just the opposite. These great leaders understand the importance of not having all of the answers; rather letting their team uses their talents and skills (which, by the way, will most likely be greater than that of the leader if the leader understands the importance of surrounding his/herself with really talented people – A Level players), to solve the tough problems.

So, what then is the role of the leader if their team is doing the majority of the problem solving? I have come to see, as I have lead others and observed other great leaders, that one of a leader’s main roles is to state purpose. This is absolutely necessary in any organization.

A leader must bring his people around an idea and vision of where the organization is headed. A sense of purpose must be felt within an organization. I know personally that I am much more willing to follow someone when I gather a clear sense of their

preparation to thoughtfully consider the direction of an organization and the consequences that may follow. When a purpose is discovered, or better yet caught, a leader will be able to spend less and less time trying to motivate people about the nearing future, and more time working with their team to innovate and change the course of history through their organization. That happens because the people who do not buy into the purpose or direction of the organization will dismiss themselves or be miserable as they try to stay with something in which they do not believe.

Leaders, this is call to speak purpose and direction into your organization. You may have an extremely talented team that just is not reaching their potential because they lack the sense that their talents are valuable and can become something so much great then themselves. Leaders, you must purposefully lead.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 14, 2012 10:55 am

    Wes, awesome post. These insights help provide a great framework for leaders as they make decisions to move their team or organization forward. When faced with a decision to make, leaders should ask themselves two questions:

    1) How will the outcome of this decision affect the trajectory of the team as we pursue our mission?

    2) Will this choice of action enable the team under my leadership to best use their abilities?

    With these two questions in mind, a leader’s decisions are much easier. Don’t compromise on your mission and work to empower your team, and you have made the best decision possible.

    Thanks for sharing!

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