By Guest Contributor Paul Dupuis
The exceptional leaders – whether they’re from the world of business, politics, sports or the arts, all share some interesting common traits – they are all motivated by ‘purpose’. And purpose is not only about hitting the sales or profit target, or winning election or the game, it’s much deeper than that. Purpose is at the very being of who we are as leaders, it’s why we exist. And the exceptional leaders, the true game-changers, are guided by a crystal-clear purpose.
Look in the mirror and find out what makes you tick
- Exceptional leaders are motivated by purpose
- The purpose answers the question ‘why’
- The purpose is a guiding light, a north star
So how can you find your own purpose? It’s a big question, and there are lots of answers. Let’s begin with what makes you tick. Forget about leadership for a moment. What really gets you excited? Is it the excitement of competition, the thrill of victory? Or the feeling of fulfilment in reaching a difficult goal? Or perhaps it’s the adrenalin rush you get when you tackle something new, when you step out of your comfort zone, overcoming your fears and proving the naysayers wrong?
My bet is that you answered yes to most of these questions, if so, you’re a couple of steps closer to discovering your purpose.
Be a game-changer
- Exceptional leaders are dreamers
- Answering the question “why?” is at the core of the E5
- Game-changing leaders focus on the journey
The desire to achieve, to reach goals, to improve, and to make an impact are all important ingredients of the effective leader. Unfortunately, many leaders stop here. These are the reliable leaders, they work hard to win, they accept new challenges and they deliver on expectations. But they don’t change the game. I prefer to call these leaders, ‘competent managers’. Don’t get me wrong, the world needs competent managers, in fact the large majority of leaders around us, the ones who keep the wheels moving everyday, make up this group.
But the game changing leaders, the leaders who change the world, are in a different class. These leaders are less motivated by the outcome, and much more focused on the purpose and the journey. They dream, they imagine a new world, and they craft a vision which serves as the guiding light on the way. This is the north star, and its rooted in defining the greater purpose, the ‘why’. Within the context of the E5, this is the first critical step towards becoming a transformative leader – Envision.
Envision with Authenticity
- Leaders are not fortune-tellers
- Effective leaders anticipate the future, by looking at the past
- Envision requires a message that touches the hearts and minds
Envision is really about the process of preparing for the journey towards change. Like each of the E’s, this requires much thought and effort. In order to attract and ignite passion from followers, the vision needs to be compelling. That means it needs to touch the hearts and the minds of the people who will play a role in bringing the vision to life. Not an easy task when we think about the diversity of the audience. These are the people who will stand up, and move the wheels of the vision. Without support from the team, the vision is simply a day dream.
We sometimes make the mistake of referring to the leaders with a powerful vision as visionaries. As if these leaders have an uncanny ability to predict the future. In fact, the leaders who excel at the Envision stage are especially in touch with the now. They see an opportunity today, a chance to change the current status quo, and they identify the motivational buttons to push, the collective nerves to touch, which then leads to inspiration to action. The roots of followership are both at the Envision stage.
Take the big vision and make it personal
- The competent manager plays the game well
- The exceptional leader changes the game
And so, the pressing question is, where does this compelling vision come from? For most leaders, the vision has been handed down to them, and the leader is expected to help bring it to reality. And that’s fine. Even the most exceptional, game-changing leaders accept that they need to work within the framework of a greater purpose. But they ensure that they connect this purpose with their own personal values.
Here’s an example. The business leader focused on the outcome will create a vision and set goals around smashing the target, perhaps becoming the top performing unit within the organization by revenue, profit or year on year growth for example. On the the other hand, the leader who is guided by a compelling vision and a greater purpose may focus on becoming the most trusted partner for his/her clients or being recognized as the most admired company in the industry, known for caring and developing its high performers.
Do you see the difference? The competent manager plays the game well, and aims to play it better than others, to win. The game-changing leader doesn’t focus on playing the game well, these leaders instead devote themselves to leading team who create a new game.
All of this is rooted in the why.
Next time you’re setting goals for your self and your team, ask yourself; “Why is this important?”, “Why is this meaningful? And “Why is this game-changing?”. You may be surprised at your answer.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul Dupuis is CEO and Managing Director of Randstad India and the former Chairman of HOPE International (JP). Paul is bilingual, speaking both English and Japanese, and has lived and worked across Asia for more than 25 years.
Learn more about The E5 Movement
From a young backpacker, sleeping on a park bench in Japan, to leading one of the biggest corporate giants in the Asia-Pacific region, Paul Dupuis has built a career through game changing leadership – crafted through his own real-life experiences as an athlete, volunteer and CEO. The E5 is a unique leadership model; a call to action to all leaders, globally, to inspire and lead for change. The five Es are: envision; express; excite; enable; execute.
These five rules of game-changing leadership will revolutionize the way leaders approach each new challenge. The real-life anecdotes combined with the conversational tone of the book make this an accessible and impactful read. Thought provoking and practical, this book will inspire leaders to think about their leadership, adopting the five Es on their mission to lead their teams to excellence – a true game-changer. Pick your five and join the movement!
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