Showing Leadership in Difficult Times Article 3 – Purpose
Finally the lockdown appears to be easing for many, yet still causing much frustration. Whilst it still looks like we’re in this for the long haul, many people are now returning to work so it’s even more critical that you express good leadership in the way that you interact with others and keep your staff motivated and on message.
The following notes are Adapted from ‘How to Lead Your Team and Keep the Right Balance’ published by Charles Barnascone of Infinite Possibilities Ltd
In the book How to Lead your Team, the action of setting the destination forms the foundation for all the other aspects of leadership within the Leadership Matrix, also referred to in his book. Charles sets out the first steps to make leadership work in difficult conditions:
Step 1 of the Leadership Matrix Setting the destination – Where are you heading?
Employees have been disengaged from their jobs for some time, so it really is critical to make sure they reconnect with the organization or team purpose and keep sight of what’s important.
When you set the destination for your team you form the context within which all the other sections of the Leadership Matrix will work. Setting or reminding people of the destination means setting or reminding them about your purpose and your values which will form the guidance system of how you will operate.
Now more than ever it’s critical that you refer back to that destination which you set in the first place and keep your focus on that original context.
Without a clear idea of your purpose, and your values, decisions about your use of time become more difficult. Without clarity of values, it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain results in the long term. Setting the direction then, forms the core of the Leadership Matrix, and so rightly sits within the inner centre circle of the Leadership Matrix.
So let’s look at a reminder of Concept 3 – Purpose – What are you about?
If you have clarity of your purpose, you are more likely to devote time and resources to do things, which are aligned with your purpose.
To make sure that you know your purpose so that you can use it as the basis for the decisions you make.
Your values will combine with your overall purpose or direction to provide the canvas or backdrop for all your decisions. As a leader you need a clear purpose to focus and guide your own actions and to motivate your team.
Answering the following questions is a very simple, yet effective way of working out your overall purpose:
- How do you want to be described by others?
- What activities do you want to do?
- What do you want to have in your life?
- What do you want to give back to others?
- What is important to you?
Let’s use a simple exercise, to help you decide how you want to be described by others. Imagine you are at an 80thbirthday celebration – your own 80th birthday. People are gathered together to describe you and how they see you. How would you like them to describe you and your life,
or what you mean to them? What would you want them to say? Whatever answers you come up with to those questions, will help you identify the answers you need.
What you want to do refers to tasks, actions and activities that will fill your life. Explore what you want to do as a job or career, hobby or interest, places to visit, people to be with, and so on. It might help you to consider what you really love doing, or what you dream of doing in the future.
The things you have in your life, are what you own, these can be both tangible and intangible. To achieve certain goals you may need to acquire particular assets. They are not always monetary, for example you may want to have the ‘asset’ of friendship. Think about what you want to have in relation to all areas of your life. We live in a world where everyone and everything is interdependent. What you want to give back asks how you provide support or service in many different forms. In a business context it may be the benefit you bring to a customer or employee. In a personal context it may be the joy you bring to your family. In a social context it may be
the support you give to a local charity or the mentoring you provide for young people.
Gaining clarity in your ‘purpose’ will, like values, allow you to make decisions and choices based on a longer-term overall strategy, rather than what seems popular today.
Think of values and purpose as acting like a compass bearing. No matter what life throws at you, you will have a reference point to refer back to. You can then make decisions based on whether a choice will take you closer to or further from the values and purpose you have identified.
- Gain clarity on your purpose or intention. This can be balanced across different parts of your life, maybe personal, family, or career.
- Before you agree to an activity ask ‘what is my intention here?’
- Check if an activity or decision is taking you closer to or further from your purpose for that part of your life.
Further excerpts from ‘How to Lead Your Team’ will be made available as articles in the coming weeks
To find out more about the book or to order a copy go to https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lead-Your-Team-Right-Balance