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Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Positive Video That Every Leader Should Watch

We came across this award winning video entitled "Validation" recently. The video demonstrates the power of positive and genuine reinforcement - one of the most effective things a leader can do to achieve an immediate uplift in results.


Purpose: An Essential Component of Positive Leadership

A key value of Postive Leadership™ is Purpose.

We all have personal stories that define our purpose and direction in life. The question becomes, is that personal purpose aligned with the purpose of your organisation? It is the leaders of the organisation who must make sure that the company's purpose is clearly defined and understood, fostered and reinforced. If leaders also encourage employees to understand their own purpose and direction and how it connects with the company's, employee engagement, personal satisfaction and performance increase.

In his book, It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purpose, Roy M. Spence Jr. writes: "A real purpose can't just be words on paper. It has to get under the skin of every member of your organisation....If you get it right, people will feel great about what they're doing, clear about their goals, and excited to get to work every morning."

This is especially important in turbulent times. Dupont CEO Ellen Kullman talked about the importance of purpose during tough times at Wharton's 2009 annual Leadership Conference when she was describing her crisis leadership principles. She was surprised during weekly informal meetings with employees that the "number one question was about whether we are going to stick with our mission." She realised that people were scared and wanted clear direction. "Making sure that people understand the mission — and linking their daily activities to the company's broader purpose — is essential to reducing fear, maintaining morale and keeping employees motivated," she said.

The economic meltdown has provided us with many lessons from leaders of embattled companies and they all point to one clear approach for success: Leaders must keep their company's purpose alive and in the forefront.

Here are some questions to consider as you examine whether you are bringing your purpose to life in your company and the marketplace:
  • Do your employees know what the company's purpose really is?
  • Do they feel like they have a personal connection to that purpose and their role in achieving it?
  • Do your clients and customers clearly understand your purpose and what it means to them?
  • Are you willing to make the hard decisions that need to be made to remain true to your organisation's purpose?
As leaders, it is our job to leverage purpose to affect real change. A key element of leadership is to inspire. In order to impact people several levels below you, leaders must create a level of inspiration that will galvanise employees in a direction and create a “magnetic north” for them to move towards. Where does that inspiration come from? Some leaders believe they can inspire others through charisma. This can be true in the short term, but this approach is like serving appetisers; they satisfy briefly, then make your employees hungry again. By clarifying your company's true purpose “how it makes a real difference in the lives of others”, and then connecting your personal leadership purpose to that broader company purpose, you will be able inspire employees in a more meaningful, lasting way.