On Leadership, Life & Family


Purposeful Leadership

Passion really can change your business.

Research has found there are typically two types of engagement we human beings recognise and compartmentalise. The first is our personal engagement. This is the ‘pizazz’ in what we do, it’s what stimulates us intellectually by the action we take, and what we think about in relation to progress in the world of work. It is the range to which we feel free to express our individuality in the work we do, and a heightened personal engagement directly relates back to feeling responsible for the work we do and progress we make. When we are engaged as individuals we are energised to take accountability for who we are and what we do, but even more than that—we think curiously. To think curiously is to think without preconceived ideas and retrospective ideas of progress. When we are personally engaged we are deeply committed to our interpersonal relationships and open to collaborative successes to achieve genuine progress regardless of affirmation.

The second form of engagement is “work engagement”. This focuses on our energy, dedication and concentration for the success of organisational progress. The main differences are that personal engagement is characterised by a holistic psychological response, whereas work engagement focuses on broad attitude towards work.

Leaders are often interested in increasing employee engagement, a recent study by Dr. Luke Fletcher from Brighton Business School, points out that it is important for us to dig deep into what exactly we are trying to impact when we aim to promote engagement.

Dr. Fletcher surveyed 304 full-time workers in the United Kingdom. The survey measured personal engagement, work engagement, and work behaviours (among other variables) to look for relationships. Dr. Fletcher was able to show that personal engagement has a stronger impact than work engagement on employees’ perceptions of their capabilities and adaptability. They see themselves as more skilled and better able to adjust to change—two important outcomes, especially in an era when new practices and tools are constantly emerging in most jobs.

Put simply, passion counts. If employees feel deeply connected to their roles and invest more of themselves, they are more likely to be fully active on the job, resulting in better performance. Personal engagement deepens an employee’s sense of fulfilment in their work. They feel encouraged to think outside of the realm of traditional strategy, and to think curiously about genuine progress. In other words, they ask the ‘why’ in what they do.

Personal engagement deepens an employee’s sense of fulfilment in the work. If you are trying to affect employee engagement, then it may be beneficial to focus your energies on building a sense of personal engagement.

What can we do?

Consider strategies and new thinking that promote:

· Individual development through genuine work-related identity

· Promote social relationships

· Encourage thinking that is curious

· Educate on the ‘why’ we do what we do, highlighting the impact of their work.

In this way, development isn’t just about learning to do, but also about learning to be. Modern practices that promote social and experiential learning—and that help employees to develop deeper networks among their peers—will also serve to build role engagement. When training programs are offered, leadership development professionals can include components that promote communication and interaction, especially among those with similar roles. Additionally, developing leaders’ skills in creating inclusive department learning cultures also supports the growth of personal role engagement.

Finally, if you want tips on how to engage your people, then these 3 principles are proven to engage employees:

· Apportion ownership

· Promote accountability

· And always, reward progress with recognition.



Get to know your life’s ‘why’….

There has to be more to life than this, right?
If we are honest, we have all had that thought on more that one occasion, but why are we driven to see more, feel more, do more and achieve more? I think, it’s the insatiable desire to  feel valued and have purpose in life.

It’s funny how we humans process things of importance. I mean, success is based on what we have achieved and where our material capital is situated, rather than what and who we have to share it with. There are so many opportunities that buzz in and out of our life, that we often find ourselves fleeting from one thing to the next. But how do I know what I’m doing is what I’m put on this earth to do? We constantly find ourselves asking “who am I, and what was I put here for?”

There are two powerful days in your life. The day you were born, and the day you discover why. The day we are born, well, that’s pretty straight forward, but the why are we here and what am I meant to do, is the golden question we are all seeking out the answer for. Purpose, or the why, is our life strategy that creates a centre to everything we do. It’s the reason we do what what we do, it’s the reason we work or follow our business idea, or dream of doing the things we love someday. But to a few people who genuinely seek out why they are on this planet, the challenge is to see that which is unseen in our thoughts, become reality. I have been asked on more than one occasion, how do I truly, genuinely know what my ‘why’ is. It’s a genuine question, and as leaders, how do we get other people to know our ‘why’.

Purpose is far more than a frosted glass statement in the reception of our organisations, it’s a clear and definitive direction where it is communicated. It’s how we measure progress, but more importantly, it’s why we exist. You can always motivate people to do things based on reward of work, like having an innovative idea, or hitting budget for the month. But, what if we could achieve so much more than reward for good work and we could start to see ownership of culture and vision? Or in other terms – our ‘why’. How much more progress could we see if in our own organisations we could know our own purpose of what we do and how we do it, simply because we displayed our ‘why’.

As human beings we are motivated to contribute, and we are motivated to contribute by two drivers – emotion and purpose. Emotion is the ‘humaness’ of our contribution, and purpose is the strategy to achieve it. In other words, I do this for my family and their future, so that they are safe and taken care of, and I contribute to this by creating a plan to see my business flourish, not only financially, but in leaving a legacy for my family for the future. If you can understand the ‘what is my purpose’ on this planet, then it literally will change your world. And if it can change one life, what else could it impact. Imagine an organisation that is forefront in their purpose, an organisation where everyone is given space to achieve the ‘why’.

To simplify this, I heard a great example of finding your purpose the other day, and it was this… Ask yourself these five questions, and as you do, say the answer out loud. What is your name. What do you love to do. Who do you do it for (in other words, what is your focus audience). How does what you do, help fulfill their want or need. How do they change or transform as a result of what you do? Now, say the whole five answers out loud. There’s your purpose. Imagine what would happen if we asked the same questions in our organisations and then made our ‘why’ known.

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