How To Reconnect With Your Purpose

This week, I had to go away to ‘come home’.

In other words,  I had to leave my everyday life. My daily routine. My busy busyness. My must do’s, to do’s and should do’s.

I needed to leave the ‘doing’ in order to rediscover the gift of ‘being’.

This allowed me to reconnect with my purpose as a leadership coach.

It came in the form of a 10 day holiday in Fiji.

I don’t know if it was the seductive, heady lull of tropical heat, or the fact I just hung out with my husband, children and one of my best friends for a while.

Maybe it was the inspiration I received from reading two outstanding books – Conscious Capitalism and Essentialism.

Or the solitary morning runs along the beach.

Perhaps it was the long stretches of nothingness.

Or maybe it was a combination of the above.

Regardless of the source, the most significant lesson I (re)learned was the importance of regularly stopping and just being.

Stepping away from our everyday lives catalyzes the regaining of perspective, clarity and intention.  Most importantly, it helps us to reconnect with our purpose.

We’ve long known the benefits of having a higher purpose as an organisation. John Mackey and Raj Sisodia dedicate an entire chapter to it in their book Conscious Capitalism.

But great leaders also know their purpose; their ‘True North’.

Why is it important to know our purpose?

We are most fulfilled and happiest when our work is aligned with what makes us come alive.

Knowing our purpose means recognising our deepest motivations and convictions.

As Roy Spence and Haley Rushing put it in their book ‘It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For’ –

“If you have a purpose and can articulate it with clarity and passion, everything makes sense, everything flows. You feel good about what you’re doing and clear about how to get there.”

As a leader, knowing your purpose is asking yourself:-

“What is the contribution I want to make?”
“What do I want to stand for?”
“How do I want to add value to this world?”
“How can I bring my unique strengths to bear on the work I do?”
“What is my True North?”

Knowing your purpose is important because it:-

Inspires us.
Activates vitality.
Helps us prioritise our energies.
Cuts through the white noise, competing demands and exhausting dross.
Empowers us to say no to unnecessary things and instead focus on what’s essential.

It’s a definitive statement about the difference we are trying to make in the world.  And in my opinion, that’s kinda important.

How?

You don’t need a tropical holiday to reconnect with your purpose – although it helps 🙂

All you need to do is move out of action and into a more reflective place.

See here and here for simple ways you can build reflection into your life.

What was my purpose which I reconnected with?

To ignite better leadership.

To share the cornerstones of great leadership – self-awareness, listening, stillness, authenticity, consciousness, courage and compassion – with as many people as I am possibly able.

To enable in others, the ability to access these tenets of effective leadership and in doing so, influence workplaces to become the fun, successful and meaningful places they have the potential to be.

Now it’s over to you. How can you reconnect with your purpose?

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2 Comments

  1. Martin on July 18, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Great article as always Suzi – back to the cold of Nelson for you guys now !!!! 😀

    • The Leader's Digest on July 19, 2014 at 1:27 am

      Thanks Martin, I’m glad it resonated with you. Yes, we’re on our way home from Fiji and I’m not looking forward to the minus one degree mornings, that’s for sure!

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Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

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