“I just don’t feel like she understands what I’m saying.”
Statements like this—from a team member about someone in leadership—are rampant in businesses across the U.S. Clearly, having the ability to communicate your vision successfully as a leader, is a challenging task.
Most leaders believe they are being clear, concise, and engaging. Statistics say otherwise.
Many state that team members across industries struggle to feel heard, understood, and acknowledged by leadership in the workplace. According to the 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 805 of its respondents rated leadership as a high priority. However, only 41 percent believe their companies are ready to fulfill their leadership requirements.
What does it take to lead with purpose? And how can you communicate your vision successfully to all members of your business’s team to build employee engagement?
What is Purposeful Leadership?
Purposeful leadership begins with two key elements.
- Your commitment to personal purpose and vision
- Your ability to clearly communicate and model that purpose and vision
At its heart, purposeful leadership is about creating something larger than our organization, and ourselves as its leader. An article in Forbes, states, “Purposeful leaders understand that in order for them to live on purpose, to achieve the results that are most important to them, they must get everyone on their team to live according to their purpose and hold each other accountable.”
Recognizing purposeful leadership though and living it out are two different things.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”–John Donne, English poet
Testing Your Leadership Competencies
Asking someone, “Are you a competent leader?” is like asking if the sky is blue. Of course, our response is always yes, even if on an overcast day.
Competency in leadership is hard to define. We are not our employees. And being “in the thick of things” makes it even more challenging. Many busy executives and leaders believe they don’t have the time to commit to assessing these types of overarching skills.
Testing these though, can lead to much greater insight, honesty, and greater growth than you might imagine possible. Testing your “purpose level” will harness the power of existing skills and provides you with necessary insights to strengthen weak areas.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What do you stand for?
- Are you in the middle of a transition? Is the old vision collapsing but the new hasn’t emerged yet?
- Does your vision require courage to pursue?
- Are you burned out or have you lost the fire that once energized you?
These are just a few of the deep questions that must be considered honestly. And while you are the only one who can determine what your responses mean—for yourself, your business, and your purpose—you don’t need to go it alone. Working with a mastermind group, a mentor, or a leadership coach will help you find your way.
The Importance of a Compelling Vision
In part two of this blog series, we will look at how to clearly communicate a compelling vision through purposeful leadership. Remember though: to create and share that vision, one must already be leading—and living—on purpose.
Are you leading on purpose? Does your team agree? Please share your thoughts in the comments. Ready to strengthen your leadership competencies? Consider leadership coaching.