"Leadership is a choice, not a position" - Stephen Covey
At a recent event I was introduced to an amazingly driven, inspirational and purposeful leader. At a relatively young age, Leanne Armitage has set out and is achieving great results amongst young people by getting under represented segments of society into the medical profession, simply by following her purpose. I won’t say any more about Leanne’s story because she says it much better herself (see links at the end of this message).
So what is this thing we call Purpose and what makes a purposeful leader?
At the event I spoke to many very talented and dynamic people and there was a lot of talk of purpose. It’s a word I frequently use myself and wondered at times if we shared the same perceived meaning. Guided by my curiosity, I decided to clarify from those conversations, what are the key components of this thing we call purpose.
My concise conclusion is the following; that purpose is comprised of all of these 3 key components Inspiration; a feeling/desire from within to create something aligned with our values and beliefs. Aspiration; giving the feeling a vision and outlet to impact in the world. Contribution; that the aspirations can positively impact the wider community.
This may seem simplistic but that isn’t enough for someone to become a purposeful leader; for that there needs to be a catalyst.
What makes Purpose so important for us?
When your heart and soul are committed you can’t lose. The thing that has struck me about purposeful leaders is their determination or even obsession to fulfil their purpose, like nothing else was as important. This makes sense because when we have alignment of our conscious vision with our subconscious feelings, beliefs & values and behaviours, our whole being is consumed with our mission and purpose.
If not me, who and if not now, when?
How is the purposeful leader born? When an external situation or event occurs that we feel we must respond to, either willingly and at other times unwilling (you maybe aware of these scenarios from Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s journey). The key thing here is that the leader feels compelled to act and is aware of their own capabilities and limitations which can make the decision to act scary. Regardless they see that something isn’t quite right and can envision a better way or a solution to make a difference.
Who am I doing this for?
In studying and modelling purposeful leaders, the compelling desire to fulfil one’s purpose is never purely for themselves**. Generally this is a call to help others in need, right a wrong, provide justice or provide a solution for a problem or need. We have often heard examples of these with people like Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Emmeline Pankhurst, Rosa Parks, etc. rising to the challenges.
"When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves.'"- Lao Tzu
** Ultimately pursuing our purpose can be fulfilling and rewarding so yes it is for ourselves too.
For me living on purpose is when we are most inspired and productive in life and why I am committed to helping others to discover and pursue their purpose.
Creative Muscle Certified NLP Practitioner - Creating Purposeful leaders I am in the early stages of designing my NLP Practitioner for purposeful leaders and would be good to know if you maybe interested in learning NLP in a way that is aligned with your purpose or discovering your purpose?