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Everybody wants to be a leader and everyone thinks it’s easy when they see others in leadership positions. Once they try it, most of them will back down, because they can’t handle the leadership work and responsibilities. Everything looks easy as long as you don’t work on it yourself, it is when you try it out then you can figure out if you are cut for the job or not.
One of the values you need to own before or when you jump into leadership is to own your personal purpose. Do you even know your personal purpose? Do you have one? If you think you don’t need it to be a leader, because after all, others will do the work for you, then read below why it is one of the most important things you need not only for leadership but also for life.
The 13th Century poet Rumi has a story about a king who tells his prince it is time for him to go out into the world and complete one task the king asked him to do. The prince goes out into the world and after he is gone for a very long time, the king decides he needs to go in search of him. When the king finds the prince, the prince is telling him all the incredible things he has done. The king then asks him “Have you done the one thing I asked you to do?” The prince says “No.” The king then says “Well then it is as if you have done nothing.”
The king represents God, the Universe, or whatever your belief system is. The prince represents us. We have all been put on this earth for a purpose. It is our job to figure out what that purpose is. Our purpose never changes, the avenues we follow may change but our purpose in life is always the same. When evaluating my life after Tom died, I had to figure out my purpose. I realised that my purpose is “to support people both personally and professionally in finding the life they were put on this earth to live and to have a clear vision of what they would love. Then, they can design their life around that vision.” You need to be clear about your personal purpose and vision. When you understand those, you then can concentrate on your leadership purpose and vision.
Your leadership purpose is why you are doing what you are doing as a leader. Even if you are doing nothing more than leading yourself, you need to understand your leadership purpose. In every aspect of your life, you will always need a team. Even if you are a stay-at-home mom, you need a team to support you. When they say, “it takes a village to raise a child”, that holds true for adults as well. Once you have your leadership purpose, you can then create a purpose with your team. I want you to take a minute and think about your personal purpose, then what is your leadership purpose? Let’s say you are a real estate agent and you are a sole agent without a staff, team, or other agents in your organisation. Your team then consists of everyone you need to support your real estate business. Your family, friends, mortgage people, home inspectors, the cleaning and handyman people, and anyone else you use to help your clients.
If you are clear on what your leadership purpose is you become a great LEADER, and your team will see that and understand why you make certain decisions and requests. They also will know how best to support you. When you examine your purpose, it is something you love doing every day, and you do it without even thinking. A great example is my best friend. When we had this discussion, she said she had no clue what her “purpose” was. I had already observed her living her purpose several times just in the couple of hours I had been with her. I had observed how she tried to help everyone whom she cared for, without them even asking for help. Sometimes, she would put herself and her needs on the side, just so she could help the ones that she thought needed more help and care than her. I asked her questions around those situations. Pretty soon she realised she was put on this earth to help others solve problems and be a project manager.
Now take some time to ask yourself what is your personal purpose? Then, what is your leadership purpose? Then what is your team’s purpose? A team purpose that all help determine will create buy-in from all concerned. Once a team purpose has been determined, each person should have a written copy as this will help to remind everyone why they are doing each task they complete. You may even have a written purpose for a project that will help to keep everyone understanding why this project is important.
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