The Principles of Purposeful Leadership - Igor Poza

Igor Poza

Self-awareness should be the starting point in every leader’s development. It is at the center of your inner compass and an essential component of knowing yourself, discerning your passions, and discovering the purpose of your leadership.

The traditional style of a profit-driven, power-hungry leader is outdated and will not be effective in today’s work environment. The workforce is rapidly changing, complex, and unpredictable; one leader cannot be the hero and solve all of these issues — decisions need to be decentralized. Today’s employees value a new type of leader who is authentic and is capable of aligning individual values with the company’s values to create a positive work environment. In an article published by Harvard Business Review, 5 Principles of Purposeful Leadership, Hubert Joly outlines 5 “Be’s” that characterizes a successful leader.

Be clear about your purpose

Purpose, both individual and collective, is at the heart of business. In order for the company to be successful, leaders need to have a strong understanding of what drives them and the people around them. When you are clear of your purpose and the purpose of those around you, you can connect them to the company’s purpose to drive performance and results.

Be clear about your role

A leader’s role is not to make profit or to be powerful. The key role of a leader is to “help others see possibilities and potential, creating energy, inspiration, and hope.” While you cannot control circumstances, you can control your mindset. “Your mindset determines whether you generate hope, inspiration, and energy around you — or bring everyone down.” Set the tone and it will radiate positive energy to each level of the organization.

Be clear about whom you serve

View everyone as a customer. As a leader, you do not serve yourself. You serve your colleagues, your board of directors, and the people around you. “It takes vigilance and a healthy dose of self-awareness to avoid sliding into the trap set by power, fame, glory, and money.”

Be driven by values

“Being driven by values is doing right, not just knowing or saying what’s right.” A leader’s role is not to write values down on paper; their role is to actively promote these values and ensure the company is acting based on these values. Doing the right thing is not always easy. But if you create a team of trustworthy individuals whose values align with yours and the company’s, you can collaborate with the team to figure out the best solution.

Be authentic

In previous years, leaders were stern and emotionless. Times have changed, and especially with the effects of the pandemic, leaders can be more vulnerable. When a leader is transparent about their emotions, it creates a safe environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their emotions as well. This generates trust and social connections within the team. “Vulnerability is at the heart of social connection. And social connection, in turn, is at the heart of the business.”

With a new generation and new trends transforming the workforce and introducing new values, leading with purpose is going to be a key driver in hiring and retaining top talent. “The way we lead has profound implications on people around us and how we do business.” If you want to transform business, it starts with purposeful leadership.

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