Your personal purpose is essential for good leadership. Like a compass, it provides you with orientation, helps you to make the right decisions and adds meaning to your everyday actions.

Once you find purpose for yourself, you can make a big step up the ladder by adding purpose to your organization. With a meaningful target in mind, self-organized teams will work better aligned to reach that common goal.

We offer you a tool here that you can use for yourself and your team to take an important step towards determining or clarifying your goal.

Ready to gain purpose?

Create a relaxed atmosphere, get a pen and paper ready and dive into our little thought experiment. Imagine yourself at your own retirement party. After a warm welcome and your first glass of champagne, one of the biggest talents you discovered and hired 20 years ago makes a surprise appearance on stage. In an emotional speech, the person talks about the support you gave and the career you made possible.

  • How did you initially meet?
  • How did you convince the person to join?
  • How did you support the person in the most difficult moments?
  • What was your most successful moment together?

Later that evening, one of your most important customers takes the microphone. The person talks about the difficult start you had, about challenges you had to satisfy demands, how you engaged in making things happen, how you acted towards a common goal, and the person talks about the qualities you showed during these difficult times.

  • What motivated you during the hard times?
  • Why did you think this business relationship could be fruitful?

At the peak of the party, one of your closest friends/ family members shares some personal things about what you experienced at work, your successes and challenges, valuing the commitment and passion you brought into your work as well as your personal relationships.

  • What did you do for family and friends despite the demanding job you had?
  • What important private things did you miss?
  • What are you respected and appreciated for?

The morning after the party you get up easily, having plenty of time to do whatever you want to do. You take a walk, or run through the woods and recount the memories of the night before and the three speeches.

  • What made your career meaningful?
  • Where did you bring color and energy to the organization?
  • Where did you make a difference?

Now you are ready for your final task

Please write down a few words that come to mind; who would it be for, what are the verbs, the attributes… create your »motto!«

How do you feel about your final outcome? Does it inspire you? If so, you might have found some purpose for yourself and your organization.

One last hint

Don’t only apply this for yourself; try it with your team in order to find or clarify your purpose and your way of interacting.

Image: blankstock, source: 123RF