We’re on a Mission From God
“We’re on a mission from God!” The Blues Brothers – 1980
Successful leaders know and do what’s important. Purpose defines importance.
Actions disconnected from purpose are meaningless.
Mark Twain wisely said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
5 benefits of purpose:
- Direction for decisions.
- Fulfillment in difficulty.
- Energy to face challenges and seize opportunities.
- Stamina to keep going. Leaders with purpose find a way. Leaders without purpose find a way out.
- Clarity regarding relationships that matter.
If you want to matter, do things that fulfill your purpose.
Stop wasting time on urgent trivialities. Do something “important” today. But, how do you know what’s important?
3 ways to find personal purpose:
#1. Meet urgent needs. Don’t sit under a tree contemplating the meaning of life. Make a difference today.
Purpose finds people while they’re in motion.
#2. Monitor energy. Energy shows the way. The closer you get to your purpose the more energy you feel. Say yes to serving in ways that increase energy.
Energy points to purpose. Don’t find passion. Let passion find you.
#3. Interrogate results and impact. Ask customers, friends, family, and colleagues to explain:
- How they feel when they work with you.
- The value you bring that’s beyond just getting the job done.
- What they see in you, when you’re energized.
The things that matter most often take the most courage to embrace. Affirmations give people courage to embrace their deepest desires.
Leaders help people find purpose when they have conversations about energy and impact.
3 ways to find organizational purpose:
- Clarify long-term mission.
- Identify medium-term challenges and opportunities in view of long-term mission.
- Make current decisions based on medium-term challenges and opportunities.
How might leaders help others find purpose?
How might leaders find their purpose?
No better feeling than fulfilling our design, and knowing we are brought to that moment/circumstance for that purpose.
Thanks Ken. Absolutely.
This is one of your better post. I’m going to plagiarize a few points, hope you don;t mind.
Glad you found something useful.
Wow Dan…this is an awesome post…How do you keep coming up with this? Quite a graduation speech…quite a personal challenge. Love your work!
Dan, you do have an ability to address needed topics – in a way that really motivate our serious Considerations!!!
Thanks John. It’s great to inspire thought and conversation.
Thanks Dr Barnhart. A good word from you means a lot to me. I hadn’t thought of a graduation speech…I’ll have to give it a try. Cheers
Leaders help others find purpose by taking time to find out what a person’s passion, skill set, talent is and then helping create a path to express it. Leaders find their purpose in helping others find their purpose. 🙂
I don’t think we actually find our purpose, we create our purpose or purposes. Decide if you want to serve people, animals, the planet or create things then determine how you can use your strengths to do this (Strengthsfinders 2.0 is a good place to start). It is a refining process from there depending on experience and interest. For example, my greatest strength is called Maximizer and I love to find ways to make things better so if I decide I want to serve people I should look for ways to help people improve their life circumstance, how they use technology, how they choose the best diet, etc., etc… Once I started thinking about my purpose this way I started to see ways I could fulfill my purpose in anything I do. Even the smallest thing like holding a door for someone can make things better for someone so in essence I am fulfilling my purpose.
By looking at my career this way, I am working on finding a job in Change Management where I can help people make transitions in their workplace easier. I believe you should get paid for who you are so I can’t think of a better way to make money other than by doing something that GIVES YOU ENERGY!
Thanks Shane. Your experience with strength finders is a useful illustration of getting busy in order to find/express purpose. Or, perhaps, getting busy so purpose finds us. 🙂
Sometimes it can take a while to figure out what that purpose may be, so God just keep giving you hints! Leaders can sometimes be a bit slow…
The late Stepgen Covey had his “Important – Urgent Matrix” Such as the one at this URL: http://www.businessofdesignonline.com/time-management-prioritise-2/ His thinking was to concentrate on the important things but seek to address them before they become urgent – in what he called the second quadrant. There will be items arise that are important and urgent (quadrant 1) that of course take precedence. The quadrant 3 items are urgent but unimportant – probably thrust upon you by someone who probably thought the items were important. Then there is quadrant 4 (unimportant and not urgent); while there is no good reason to deal with items that are in this quadrant, this is often where the “fun” things reside, the “easy” things – and we like to work on them… So, deviating from your thinking somewhat, Covey urges quadrant 2 when possible.
In my field of education, most educators would suggest quadrant 3 with them in charge of what is to be done; many students like this quadrant as well: “tell me what I need to learn to be successful.” With jobs being constantly defined and others disappearing, this is of course impossible. Learners at all levels need to be in quadrant 3 to get effective learning. Unfortunately, the students procrastinate until items are in quadrant 1, often because they spend too much time addressing quadrant 4 items!!!
Thanks John. I really respect Covey’s work. The grid is a useful tool to challenge us to keep doing things that are important.
I’m a leader, but I’m not too high up the totem pole. Much (most) of the time, I’m dealing with the important/urgent stuff. I’m aware of the idea that you should prioritise the important/non-urgent. The issue is that the people above me prioritise THEIR important/non-urgent by dumping their urgent and important on ME and my people! This means that we do not develop purpose. Our “purpose” is putting out fires, which inevitably is close-range, short term. There is no more resource available to pass this work on to, and nothing can not be delivered, so how do we develop the persepective of “real” purpose, rather than just work?