Finding your Purpose through Leadership
When I started my corporate career, I was young, ambitious and fresh out of university. I was ready to take on the world. I had finally landed an entry level position in a really good company that had termous opportunities for growth and advancement.
Looking back on my career some 15 years later, I did not have a purpose or vision identified for myself as to where I wanted my career to go and I certainly did not have any leadership skills developed at that time. For my first 10 years of my career, I was only making lateral moves and was not moving up in the company. I was really struggling with this. Asking myself, “why was I not moving up? What did I need to fix? Or ``What did I need to learn?”
We all get into positions at different points in our careers where we love the company we work for or we love the team that we are working with or we love the work that we are doing. It is kind of that holy grail to get all three at the same time. Most of the time, you might love the work you're doing but maybe you're struggling with your team or you might love your team but are not completely satisfied with the work that you are doing. There always seems to be a piece missing and we’re not truly fulfilled with our work.
When we talk about finding purpose, there are 3 key elements that are necessary to bring purpose into our work and also in our lives.
- The first element is that you love what you are doing. You enjoy it and you're passionate about it.
- The second element is that you feel that you are making an impact with your work. You are making change and/or improving things for the better of all.
- And the third element is that you feel that you are called to do this work. There is something deep down inside that tells you that you are meant to be here at this moment doing this.
These 3 elements bring that purpose into our lives and help us find fulfillment is what we are doing.
There are also some key skills that I needed to further develop that were skills that would serve me not only in my present career but in any future careers.
- You need to know what your own unique strengths are. This is a must. You can leverage your strengths to help boost your career and move you into more strategic positions within the company.
- You need to have good communication skills. It is very important to know how to articulate your message in a very clear and concise way so that it is conveyed in a way that it is easily understood.
- You need to make self development part of your routine and incorporate it into your life on a going basis. Keep developing and growing yourself, always!
- You need to be able to teach and mentor others on your team
Your own leadership in your company will notice that you are working to further develop yourself, but you also need to have proactive discussions with them on where you see yourself going in the company and work with your leadership, this should be a partnership. They can help guide you into additional training that can further develop you into that leadership role that you are working towards.
When I was at that point in my career where I was really questioning my purpose. I reached out to my management and other leaders in my company to get their feedback and guidance. I received some really great feedback from them and this was extremely helpful for me. It gave me some much needed clarity and direction for the path I wanted to take in my career. I was able to identify skill sets that I needed to further develop and this also helped me in building trust and a better rapport with my management and my company leadership.
These relationships that you are building and establishing now will help you in your role as a leader, they are part of laying the groundwork for finding your purpose in leadership.
There are a few key tips that can help you with becoming a great leader.
- Communication and collaboration are key. Be clear and concise in your messages.
- Having a degree of transparency with your team, this will help build trust in your team and boost morale. They will feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
- Have a team vision along with a company vision and share that with your teams. This lets them see the bigger picture and they can now see where you are steering the ship instead of feeling like they have no idea where they are going or why their work really matters.
- Trust your people, give them all of the training and support that they need and trust that they know to ask questions if they need direction, help, or support.
Leadership can open that door to finding your purpose in your work and in your career. In a leadership role, you have new opportunities to impact the people around you and in your company. You are now serving others at a whole new level. When you are able to do what you love and impact positive change in the lives of others, which in a leadership role you can, you’ll find a whole new sense of purpose and a new sense of fulfillment in your life.
My greatest legacy has been the positive impact that I have made on others lives and to see how they have flourished and grown under my own leadership. This to me is truly priceless.