Some people say leaders are born. Usually those who believe that also say that they are born with unusual, natural talents of leadership. Others say leadership is taught or made, and list the things that a leader has to learn in school or special training courses.
Whether leaders are born or made, they have to personally develop a group of habits that are a part of their automatic response if they want to do the job correctly. There are things that leaders have to do that they are not born with and they do not naturally move toward. These are habits that a leader has to work on, day after day, so that they become natural responses that will greatly help their leadership.
Habit #10 is one of those: Know your Purpose! (This is a follow-up to the importance of habit #5 about the Big Picture…because it is just that important!)
Why do you do what you do? Can you tell me in thirty seconds? Can you say it so you don’t have to explain it?
You have a personal purpose for things you do.
You have an organizational purpose for things your organization does.
Let’s talk about the purpose you have for being involved in the role you have in your organization.
If you are unclear as to your purpose, or if your purpose statement keeps changing to include the most popular things, you will vacillate in your decisions, you will be confusing in your direction, and you will be distrusted in your leadership.
So, for the next 21 days work on this:
1. Start by writing out your purpose statement in fifty words or less. This is your purpose within your organization.
Mine would be: “I serve with Reach Beyond because we change people’s lives in many ways: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and economically. We help people, in hard to reach places, have a better life”
2. Check it out with four people. Do they understand it? Modify as necessary. Shorten it if possible.
3. Now write it out and post it around so you can see it in several places.
4. Practice saying it until you have it memorized.
5. Now say it to four other people and see if they have any questions.
At the beginning of or at your next meeting, or, when you are about ready to make a decision, repeat your purpose and then see if that helps with the decision. See how this decision relates to your purpose statement.
You have to know your purpose if you are going to lead anyone anywhere.