What makes a difference between an ordinary leader and an extra ordinary leader?
While there could be many reasons for this difference, I would like to propose the idea of ‘Purpose’.
I remember the time where I was responsible for business results in a company before I found my purpose. My primary focus is to achieve profit target of the company. This was pursuing a goal set by my company; it was not even a purpose. My life was about going to work every day, making decisions on how best to be better than competitors and using (yes using them without thinking of their growth & welfare) the people allocated to me in achieving these goals. Unknowingly I was neglecting my health, spirituality, my relationships, my financial health and I was squandering my time. I remember those days where I was hospitalized with stress attacks, struggling to pay my bills, gaining weight and working long hours. Fortunately I had a drive to educate myself, perhaps to overcome the fear of financial challenges and the passion to spend time with my children, perhaps because blood is thicker than water and, as they were such adorable children.
My life changed when I was fortunate enough to write a purpose during the first Mastery of Self playshop I attended. What was powerful about the purpose was it helped me to know myself deeper and to see the life I am designed to live. Formulating a realistic five year and 1 month plan to live my purpose spiritually and mentally developing my emotional maturity and high quality relationships, while looking after my health and using my time productively helped me to see that the ‘purpose’ was not just fantasy but a possibility. Implementing the plan resulted in significant improvements in my life. I started losing weight and was feeling more energetic. Stress attacks and hospitalisation stopped, I was getting less irritated and less angry, I was concerned about my team and our relationships improved and these positive responses helped reinforced my belief in living purposefully and helped me become more passionate about continuing this way of living.
These changes in my mind and body helped me be more concerned about the growth needs of my team, in building high quality relationships with my team and other stakeholders, in making better decisions, in ensuring effective execution, being positive and having a can do attitude. As I started living purposefully, the growth of my team members and my company’s success levels improved proportionately. Living purposefully also opened up my eyes to the changes in the world, higher level philosophical and scientific concepts, ecological issues, concern for the planet and the community, new opportunities etc. and my purpose too started evolving with me.
Therefore based on my own experience and later learning about the experience of leaders guided by me, I am convinced that leaders who have discovered their higher purpose or at least initial intuition, thoughts, indications of what their purpose might be and who live purposefully are more effective in their roles when compared with managers who are not purposeful. Since discovering our purpose is a life long pursuit as the purpose itself keeps changing with the changes in the planet, sometimes slightly and sometimes dramatically as life unfolds, knowing the beginning of ones purpose alone can start helping leadership effectiveness.