Purpose & Service: Key Factors in Leadership Effectiveness
Leaders: Unlock your purpose through service to help improve your leadership effectiveness and expand your spheres of influence.
Are you serving your organization, your community or serving elsewhere in a leadership role? If you answered yes, and aspire to improve your leadership approach and increase your level of influence, you have landed on the right page.
You are looking for ways to improve your leadership competencies; this indicates your realization that you have to change something that you are doing in order to get different results. Understanding that what got you where you are will not get you where you are trying to go is key.
The purpose of this article is to help you more effectively evoke in your organization the deliberate and motivated action of constituents toward achieving the set goals.
Start with why. What’s your purpose?
Whether you are an emergent or established leader, remain mindful of your reasons for doing what you do. This affects everything you do and how you do it.
When addressing your following, frequently reiterate your why. Clearly understanding and expressing why do you what you do — essentially clarifying your values — is the very first step toward increased success and significance as a leader. Leaders who think, act and communicate based on their why are more apt to inspire, influence and command greater loyalty and commitment from the people around them.
If you have not already done so, take some time for introspection — to identify, define, document and post for all to see your why. In your leadership communications, while expressing your why, seek to connect with people whose interests align, and in doing so, you will ignite people’s innate motivations that you might otherwise be hard-pressed to unveil.
Construct an environment that is conducive to inviting the creative contributions of your team members, especially welcoming contributions that lend themselves to developing or enhancing the how and the what, in support and alignment with the why.
Invest in people: Seek to serve, rather than to be served.
The most effective and influential leaders are those that behave as servants of those whom they lead. Servant leaders put their people first, empower them, attend to their concerns, empathize with them, nurture them and help them develop their full potential.
As a leader, assume accountability for something bigger than yourself. Assume responsibility for the lives entrusted to you, seek out the goodness in them, help them to realize their unrealized gifts and talents and inspire them to become what they were created to be 5. But don’t just assume this accountability and responsibility silently … communicate this to your constituents, repeatedly, and demonstrate it intentionally through your actions.
Your level of influence will inadvertently increase when you consistently ensure that the highest priority needs of others are being served and that those you serve grow as persons and become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and more likely to themselves become servants.
The positively transformative effects of incorporating servant leadership into your approach can be astonishing, as people will begin to far above and beyond what you ask or expect of them.
Be intentional about defining and communicating the purpose, mission, and vision upon which your organization, department, or team have been built. Remain cognizant of the importance of involving people whose interests and values align with your ‘WHY’ and seek to develop and maintain consistency in staffing decisions accordingly.
Understand that you are responsible and accountable to induce and facilitate further development of your people. Invest time into connecting with your people more deeply to become acquainted with their strengths and interests and to identify growth opportunities for them. Take pride in putting your people first and serving their needs foremost to your own. Continually, communicate your intentions to your people.
The benefits reaped by all parties involved will be exponential.
1. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful! (Goldsmith, M. & Reiter, M.)
2. The Leadership Challenge (6th Edition): How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations (Kouzes, J. & Posner, B.)
3. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Simon Sinek)
4. Great Communication Secrets of Great Leaders (John Baldoni)
5. Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family (Chapman, B. & Sisodia, R.)
6. The Servant as Leader (Greenleaf, R.K.)
7. Leadership Freak (Rockwell, D.)