Purpose Based Leadership

Sometimes my work involves helping leaders one on one to become more purpose-driven so that they can maximize their impact and leverage.

In one instance, the CEO I was working with I had never met.

The room we were working in was small, and he had a large presence. I found my palms sweating as I began to realize how important this was to him.

He was deeply committed to doing the work. For each exercise we did, he worked hard. Never once coming close to accepting the easy answer.

We got to the values section, and he was relentless. He wasn’t the type to have a laundry list of values that resembled a Hallmark card.

We persisted. Asking:

What values will you be willing to invest in over the next 12 months?
What values will truly challenge you?
How will you know when you are living by your values?

Discussions were raw and vulnerable. He chose three values.

He believed 100% that investing in these three values would allow him to have the impact he knew he could have.

What happened next?

He quit.

I didn’t expect that. When we talked it through, he said it was the values exercise.

His values were not aligned with the corporate values. He felt no sense of judgment – values are not right or wrong. They were simply not aligned, and without that alignment, he knew he could not achieve his own purpose.

Not one decision he made through the process was easy. He wasn’t going for easy.

The life-altering payoff was worth it.

Our personal purpose…how do we find it?

I was recently introduced to the one percent rule while reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. 

In this book, he describes his philosophy that making a choice that is one percent better or one percent worse seems insignificant in the moment. But, over the span of moments that make up a lifetime, these choices determine the difference between who we are and who we could be. 

While he presents this as a framework to encourage his readers to adopt healthier everyday habits, we can also use this framework to help find our purpose.  

Purpose is a word that we see and use all the time, it’s something that most of us want, and it’s something we spend most of our lives trying to achieve. 

When we talk about purpose, we have this idea that it is something we have to find, and once it’s found, it’s an end-all-be-all solution to our lives. 

I don’t think this is necessarily the case, as purpose shouldn’t be this big race to the finish line. Rather, purpose is a lifelong process of growth and trial and error. 

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”

– James Clear, Atomic Habits

So, as we work towards ‘finding our purpose’, maybe we shouldn’t overlook what it means to ‘live on purpose’? 

This slight shift can change our entire outlook.

Each day, ‘on purpose,’ we can strive to make that one percent improvement in ourselves. 

With incremental improvements, we can also permit ourselves to enjoy the journey that purpose is, each day getting closer to the person we could and want to be.

What do you think? What does finding your purpose mean to you?

Purpose Driven Leaders Profile – Terry Fox

Terry Fox is a hero to me. 

His iconic marathon of hope was a cross-country journey that stirred the hearts and souls of Canadians. It most certainly stirred mine. 

He unified our country. 

The image of him logging each mile is etched in the permanent memory of most Canadians. His purpose driven journey was fueled by limitless compassion, courage, and determination to help others. 

Terry Fox was an athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research advocate. 

He was a force for good. 

Terry Fox knew something about conquering. And, his legacy will conquer. 

We are joining many in perpetuating the goodness of his story. A story that Canada is proud to tell. 

We are taking this opportunity to further the legacy of Terry Fox by making a donation to the Terry Fox Foundation.

We encourage you to join us by making a donation here : https://terryfox.org/ 

His marathon of hope will continue. 

Divisive acts know nothing of the power and resilience of hope. 


Purpose Driven Leader Profile

Today I want to honour Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s top public health official as an exceptional example of a purpose-driven leader.

When we think of a purpose-driven leader, we think of someone who stays true to their values, lives their purpose, and is committed to their own unique way of elevating humanity.

Throughout this pandemic, Dr. Shahab has stayed true to his purpose, tirelessly working to reduce the impact of Covid-19 in our province of Saskatchewan.

These are anxious times. Yet, guided by science, Dr. Shahab bravely leads with a level of humility and graciousness that is so rare today and direly needed.

Yesterday, in an emotional plea to the people of Saskatchewan, we saw the depth of his passion and concern. We also saw his unfailing commitment to the welfare of others.

His appeal struck the very core of my being.

I cannot imagine how he pushes forward in the political quagmire in which he exists. I believe his purpose has been his rudder.

If you have not had a chance to hear his remarks, you can find them here. I hope his message is heard and acted upon.

Thank you, Dr. Shahab, for your dedication, courage, and wisdom.

You are the purpose-driven leader we need right now!

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