As we begin 2019, I’ve been reflecting on what it means to be a purposeful leader. For the CEOs I work with, purpose and values inform both their personal approach to leadership and how they build higher performing organizations. These leaders are not only focused on the long-term success of their own companies–they are also working together to build a better world. It’s inspiring to talk to them about their vision of what business can be.
It’s easy to get caught up in our busy lives, but the new year is a good time to pause. Here I’ve outlined a set of questions that I hope will help you reflect on yourself, your company, and your community and get clear on what you want to accomplish this year.
Being a Purposeful Leader
"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing."
-Peter F. Drucker
Can I clearly articulate my purpose as a leader? My purpose is to be a catalyst and guide to help leaders with transformational change in themselves, their companies, and their communities. What is your own purpose stated in less than 25 words?
Where do I see myself wanting to grow as a purposeful leader in 2019? More time for strategic thinking and less time in the whirlwind of execution? Better story telling about the “why” for my own company? A higher priority for getting out of the office and learning from other purposeful leaders? Better connections with the people I most care about both in the company and outside?
What am I passionate about that I want to leave as a legacy as a leader?
Building a Higher Performing Organization as a Purposeful Leader
“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person—not just an employee—are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”
– Anne Mulcahy, former CEO, Xerox
How do I continue to inspire and motivate–to the highest level of excellence–the people who I interact with each day?
What are my three top priorities for 2019 related to building a strong culture deeply aligned with our purpose and strategy and embraced by every employee?
What are specific ways I want to enrich the lives of the people in our company?
Building a Better World
"Businesses represent approximately 60 percent of global GDP, 80 percent of financial flow and 90 percent of job creation. Business cannot be a bystander in a system that gives it life in the first place. We cannot find the solutions to world challenges if we don't start to do things differently and see things differently.”
– Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
How do I assess my progress as a leader both inside and outside the company in working to build a better world?
What ways can I expand the reach and impact of our efforts as a company to make a positive social impact?
How can I connect “building a better world” more closely with our business model and our efforts to work in our community with other CEOs?
An Exciting Challenge for 2019
This past year I have had the privilege to work with a group of highly successful and engaged CEOs in my region. We came together to form the CEO Leadership Alliance - Orange County, to help build a thriving OC for all.
2019 looks very bright. We are working to activate the larger business community to work in partnership with government, non-profits, and universities to move the needle on some of the most challenging issues facing our county.
My hope is that by reflecting on the questions above, it will help keep your purpose at the forefront of your strategic priorities in 2019. I also challenge you to think bigger–about the larger community you serve and how you can make an even greater impact.