The Importance of Purpose in Leadership

7 04 2011

Throughout my career I had to deal with conflict. Whether you’re a leader or not, conflict is something most of us face almost daily. As leaders, we are constantly in the spotlight when it comes to managing conflict. That spotlight increases exponentially based on your place in the organization and the size of the group you are leading.

As leaders, we often are responsible for creating conflict. Sometimes intentionally and sometimes not. On the positive side, conflict can be a good thing. When done properly, conflict acts as the catalyst for change. It creates new ideas, causes innovation, and can move people to new levels of thinking. Other times, conflict tears apart everything we are trying to build. It causes chaos and bitter feuds.

As leaders, we are responsible for bringing people together to work through challenges. However ego, insecurity, lack of purpose, poor communication, and lack of Vision can get in the way. When these factors take hold of an organization, it can literally rip the company apart. As leaders we need to recognize when this is happening and address it early on.

Conflict is impacted by change and vise versa. When the change is a negative influencers (i.e. low sales) conflict can increase. So how can we avoid the damaging effects of behavior on a company. One key to this is purpose. Each person needs his/her purpose defined in order to achieve the highest level of success. Leaders need to help create this purpose which is why it is imperative that the leaders themselves have a clearly defined purpose.

Each of us want to bring value to what we do in life. Knowing this value means understanding the strengths each person brings to the table. Those strengths may be observed by others and it is important we understand our own strengths as well. Imagine being placed in a situation where you were required to do something you hadn’t done before. You were left to your own choices with little feedback on expectations from someone else. How would you do? How comfortable would you feel making those decisions? How would you know you did the right thing? This happens more often than some might think.

Whatever role you play in a business, you need to understand that behavior significantly improves when purpose is there. Make it a point to understand your purpose and help others understand theirs.


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