“Purpose is the why behind everything within an organization,” says author John Baldoni, of the book, Lead With Purpose.
Baldoni also believes that it is up to leaders to make certain that organizational purpose is understood and acted upon. And, to harness the talents of their employees, leaders must recognize their responsibility to instill purpose in the workplace.
Other recommendations include:
- Make purpose a central focus
- Instill purpose in others
- Make employees comfortable with ambiguity
- Turn good intentions into great results
- Make it safe to fail (as well as prevail)
- Develop the next generation
According to Baldoni, purpose forms the backbone of what an organization exists to do; upon which you can build vision and mission.
To define an organization’s purpose, you must ask three questions:
1. What is our vision — that is, what do we want to become?
2. What is our mission — that is, what do we do now?
3. What are our values–that is, what are the behaviors we expect of ourselves?
Other important observations from the book are these two:
- We follow leaders not because they bring us down, but because they lift our spirits with their attitude, words, and examples.
- No job is complete without a review. Look at what went right as well as what went wrong. Understand that failure is not grounds for dismissal.
Lead With Purpose draws on extensive research, field work and interviews with dozens of organizational leaders. It also includes the results of an exclusive 2010 leadership survey conducted for the American Management Association (AMA) by NFI Research.
Baldoni is a recognized leadership educator, coach and speaker, and the author of Lead by Example and Lead Your Boss.