I’m a leadership coach. I help people step fully into and reach their potential as leaders — of their companies, teams, or lives.
And within this arena, I work with purpose-driven leaders — people who work with or for a “why.”
Because I think these people are incredible, special, noble, and distinct.
It doesn’t matter whether you run a benefit corporation, work within a non-profit, make beer for a living, or have an amazing corporate accounting job that allows you the income to donate to and volunteer for the causes that are most meaningful to you.
To me, purpose-driven leaders are people who have decided that their work will serve to bring the world closer to the vision they hold for what’s possible.
People who choose to use their lives to make even their small patch of Earth a little better than they found it.
People who have chosen to be actors in making this planet or their community as great as it possibly can be.
I think that the choice to be the kind of leader who is motivated by the why behind the what is noble for many reasons. But there are two big ones.
One, each of us is incredible, unique. We each see a different version of potential, a different possibility, a different path toward better. And, we can each do something, or a combination of things, that only we can offer. And when we choose to step into that offering with confidence, with the goal of working toward a vision, we give the world the best of us. We give the world the highest of us. We give the world something no one else can give.
And that leads to big reason number two. I believe that the thing that makes everything hum is the diversity of our collective offering. Imagine a world full of individuals choosing to contribute their gifts to making this whole life thing better. A world full of people, each making the brave choice to offer the best of themselves, giving the rest of us something we can’t get anywhere else.
Sounds amazing to me.
The challenge I see is that so many people who start with his incredible why behind their what, eventually fall victim to beliefs that don’t serve them, motivate them, or keep them moving in the direction of their vision.
I’ve seen so many capable leaders fall victim to the belief that there is a “reality” they have to accept. An unchangeable “way things are.” That, for example, socially-minded companies only have so far they can go in doing great work. That constraint is a limitation.
I’ve seen so many people with a desire to be great leaders accept the idea that it’s not possible from where they sit, or that greatness is for others.
I’ve seen so many people accept the idea that sacrifice and martyrdom are required.
I’ve seen so many people accept a narrative rather than writing their own.
I’ve heard so many people tell somebody else’s story as truth rather than deciding what they want theirs to be.
I think the world needs purpose-driven leaders. And I think that purpose-driven leaders are the people who will innovate and empathize and create us into a better future. And I want to support those people in giving all they can to the world by giving as their best selves.
Because what would happen if these driven, incredible, values-based, purposeful humans contributed all they had and felt engaged in and amazing about their lives + work? What if their why remained clear and working toward it felt like a privilege? What if exhaustion and disillusionment weren’t part of the package? What if working toward a vision were energizing and joyful? How much more could we create if that happened?
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