5 Ways To Become A More Effective Purpose-Driven Leader/Entrepreneur
The evidence that becoming a purpose-driven company leads to greater success is hard to deny. Companies that are successful tend to share one common trait: They pursue a specific purpose, in addition to pursuing profits. A company that has a purpose is able to better engage and mobilize its people and resources to reach its goals, rather than simply managing them to accomplish tasks.
Much of the shift toward purpose-driven companies comes from the influx of millennials into the workforce, who want to find meaning and value in their work. These younger workers tend to be acutely aware of gaps between a company’s stated purpose and what it actually does, and what it’s perceived to do. The more those points align, the more engaged team members will be, and the more successful the company will be.
And it’s not just employees who are looking for a purpose-driven company. Customers also expect that companies are going to work on solving social problems through their work, and be more responsible corporate citizens. So while leaders remain under pressure to meet specific performance goals, they also need to articulate the company’s purpose and foster commitment to that purpose throughout the whole organization. In other words, they need to be purpose-driven leaders.
Becoming a purpose-driven leader is, for many leaders, a new approach to leadership. However, by making a few changes to your approach to team management, you can become a better purpose-driven leader and guide your company toward greater influence and prosperity.
1. Clarify the connection between function and purpose
One common reason for disengagement in the workplace is that team members aren’t clear about how their responsibilities relate to the overall purpose of the company. Workers want to feel like their work matters and are important to the company, so when they don’t understand where they fit into the bigger picture, it can lead to frustration and have them simply going through the motions.
Every one of your team members should understand how his or her role fits in to the larger purpose and why their part matters.
2. Build stronger relationships with team members.
One of the biggest drivers of team engagement is the relationship with the leader. When you are responsible for raising people up, your relationships—or lack of relationships—can have a direct effect on their performance. Take the time to listen to your team members and be aware of what’s happening in your team. Trust your team to use their skills and be creative, and show them that you are trustworthy and authentic as well. The stronger your relationships with your team, the more likely that you will all be pulling the cart in the same direction and be able to achieve your purpose.
3. Identify and encourage people’s strengths.
Everyone has strengths, and as a leader, it’s your job to uncover your teams’ strengths and encourage their development. All too often, leaders focus on areas that need improvement—which is important—but identifying and encouraging what people are good at and allowing them to put those skills to work toward a purpose can boost engagement. You can encourage employee development as well. Some options include bringing in inspirational leaders, sending employees to classes or conferences, or even creating a clearinghouse to share resources. Provide resources to build the people up, not just use them to accomplish your goal.
Be sure to tie all developmental activities
to the company’s purpose.
4. Value all team members.
While much of the talk about purpose-driven business focuses on millennials, an effective leader needs to focus on all team members, and not just millennials. Millennials aren’t the only ones who are purpose-oriented; in fact, one study found that people over age 55 are more likely to be purpose-oriented than their younger colleagues. Develop your plans and initiatives with all age groups in mind to prevent alienating any one group.
5. Align goals with purpose
When developing goals for your organization, align them with the overall purpose. Again, the idea behind this type of leadership is to work toward a specific purpose, so everything you do should be tied to that, including your short term goals.
Because purpose-driven leadership is a relatively new concept, it will undoubtedly evolve in the coming years. By working on your skills now, though, you’ll be ahead of the curve and have a more successful company and be a forerunner.
6. Finally, God is the author of purpose at its core.
God made all of us to be a part of His plan. Many people separate business and faith. I have seen, especially over the past two years or so, how integrated the two are and should be. One of the reasons faith has a bad name, (in terms of religion), is that it’s segregated. Genuine faith has a place anywhere there are people. The marketplace is an untapped place for faith to flourishing genuine expression and authenticity.
I personally have seen hundreds desire everything noted above, and are willing to pursue it as a foundation for everything they do… from their relationships and marriages, to their business leadership. It’s only the beginning.