Power of Purpose - Direction
Power of Purpose – Direction
One of the privileges I have is meeting with leaders of all backgrounds and experiences to talk with them about leadership. The Leadership Lounge is our monthly podcast where I meet with leaders I know to talk about a leadership topic and I always find that all of us gain from the conversation, as well as the listeners. It takes time and effort to pull these together, but there is a clear reason why I do it. . . it aligns with my purpose.
My purpose is to ‘inspire and equip people and the podcast is just one way of doing that. This month’s podcast is all about the ‘Power of Purpose’, exploring how knowing your purpose can inspire and empower you and others.
I don’t know if you have ever thought of the importance and the power of knowing you purpose can have. Part of my role, as a coach, is to help people rediscover their purpose because I believe that it has an incredible power to DRAW you forward as a leader and as a community. Once you know your purpose as a leader or as a person, it gives you and your organisation
Today we will look at the first one, how understanding our purpose can help us with direction.
Finding your purpose
There is a famous quote by Mark Twain, “The two most important days in life are the day you born and the day you discover the reason why.” I love this quote, as it highlights that discovering your why, your purpose gives a clarity in life, a reason.
The recent Pixar movie, ‘Soul’, has a wonderful moral tale. It tells the story of a middle school music teacher named Joe Gardner, who seeks to reunite his soul and his body after they are accidentally separated, just before his big break as a jazz musician. At the risk of spoiling the movie for you, the moral of the story is that Joe learns to live and appreciate every moment of his life, finding purpose in everything that he does. This principle of finding purpose in each moment, is the Japanese principle of ‘Ikagai’.
But how do you find your purpose? In the podcast, I asked this question. Chloe, Joint leader of the Together Project, said that she had discovered hers just through taking experiences offered to her. This resonates with thinking in this area, that suggests that we can often find purpose through the things that we enjoy. We only discover those when we engage in experiences. What makes your heart beat? What rises your temperature? What do you come away energised by when you have done it? What do you look forward to? What topics do you get passionate about? Chances are that your purpose sits in there.
When I work with those that I coach, one of the things that I do is ask them the ‘5 whys’. It helps to get to the root of purpose. It starts by asking what do you do. You then ask ‘why’? After you explain the reason why you do it, you ask again, ‘why’? You keep repeating this until you get to the root of it. It will often be a couple of key words. Like mine, ‘inspire and equip’. Try that approach, maybe it can help you.
Purpose guides direction
Once you know your purpose it can give you direction.
My purpose is to ‘inspire and equip’, I do that through coaching, training, podcasts, book, even conversations. This purpose also allows me to work out if an opportunity is right to take or a direction for the business is right to take as I can hold up the purpose of ‘inspire and equip’ against it. ‘Will this help me to inspire and equip people?’ If it’s yes, then that is the direction we can go. It helps us know the activities that we should be involved in.
Purpose can act like a compass. This is really useful in helping guide what we do. Sometimes opportunities or challenges come along. Jo Dedicoat, headteacher of Dale Hall Primary, shared on the podcast how knowing your purpose helps guide what things to do when challenge comes. We can hold up our purpose like a filter and ask ourselves, will this help me fulfil the purpose I focus on? It helps us know the next step to take.
So, how do you discover and refine your direction and the power of purpose? I recommend tuning in to the Leadership Lounge on 22nd January on most podcast providers. It’s free!
As you start 2021, it will have challenges, and knowing purpose can really help with that. So, if we can be of help, do contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are finding it particularly challenging and would like some coaching to help you. If you would like to move from survive to thrive then please contact me.