5 Steps to Design Purposeful Leadership


1. Start with self-leadership

Whether within an organization, team or as a self-employed professional, purposeful leadership begins with self-leadership.

Self-leadership is the attitude of using one's conscience to feel how to contribute to a situation, to engage, be useful and offer solutions to the world. When we start with self-leadership, we look at our intentions, values ​​and motivations. Therefore, it is a fundamental step towards connecting with purpose.

Looking inside to be able to look outside and find the priority evokes the motivations that make us useful and capable of engaging ourselves and others to collaborate in generating change.

2. Focus on the process

It is common to work motivated by a goal. But when we work for purpose, we work because we have a function, and the goal is something that comes later, as a consequence.

To work motivated by a goal is to work at risk. It narrows our vision, creates fear, exclusion and undermines our potential for feeling fulfillment.

Motivated by serving and caring for something greater, the process becomes as important as the goal,because watching over the process drives us to be aware and increases our ability to collaborate. It helps us to open our mind and hearts. It makes us more inclusive as we see the potential of each moment.

3. Vision for appreciation

Being able to clearly visualize a situation basically depends on being able to separate the facts from what we think about the facts.

When we see with appreciation, we are like spectators of an orchestra. We enter into a state of openness that makes the visualization clear. We can see what needs to be resolved separately from what we think and assume that needs to be resolved.

Openness to learn the needs of each situation is the key to awakening vision, because openness makes it possible to see more than needs. It also allows you to see resources and potentials.

A visionary leader has the ability to visualize a new configuration for a situation and to plan how to achieve it in the future. It is a leadership that uses the ability to see, to reorganize resources to grow potentials and to bring change. It is the possibility of making visible what was previously invisible.

4. Exchanging planning for relationship

Leadership by planning does not work when we are acting for a greater purpose. It is the relationship that will align and generate trust to undertake change.

Developing relationships is directly related to how much we can learn together. When we are facing a change, most of the time, we do not know what lies ahead. Individually or in teams, we will have to learn from the situation which will be the best solution to a new scenario.

This will require listening, flexibility and interest in people, and what is happening to them.

If planning leadership constrains the energy, relationships expand it, because learning opportunities generate equality - the greatest source of trust, and something essential when we are going to lead with a purpose.

5. Direction for learning

When seeking to generate change, we face complex, chaotic and often crisis situations.

In general, these situations carry a history of unbalanced power and a legacy of conflicts of interests. Their stories lack compassionate leadership and collaboration between people. We face unconfigured scenarios that require dealing with different levels of needs, and coordinating different layers of solutions.

Finding solutions and integrating needs with different levels of complexity can make finding a direction a difficult task or even paralyzing step.

The learning process is the best way to sense direction, share understanding throughout the process and unify the focus to discover, step by step, the best orientation.

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