Helping Your Leadership Team Realign & Reignite Their Purpose
As we move towards the end of the year, I’m being asked more and more to help senior leadership teams get clear on what their purpose is and how they can work more effectively as a team.
This week I’m working with a growing global team – to decide, define and realign on their core purpose. As their roles within the company are growing, so is their span of influence span of control and impact. These leaders and this team are in transition. Then there is the added complexity aroused by a pandemic which means what’s driving a team forward is changing.
Therefore, you could say that the pandemic has created a transition and need to lead differently for all.
What got them here isn’t going to get them there.
My role this week is to co-create to realign and reignite their team purpose so they work together with a clear and compelling identity. This work is focused on the purpose and direction of their organisation’s future and how they lead within it.
All organisations will have a strategic direction and plan regarding what it wants to do and where it wants to go. The challenge comes when the leaders within that organisation focus exclusively on the goal without considering the broader impact. What is the bigger picture goal? How are they aligned to that goal and plan?
Achieving the result is an action – leadership effectiveness is about driving a purpose that articulates the why and the how. It’s about authentic leadership.
It’s my role to coach towards self-reflection and team alignment. To peel back what will create a different level of energy and focus. When leaders have this more personal, team-orientated alignment to a company’s strategic goal and plan, they can come at it with a much bigger picture lens. They come up from the weeds. Stay in neutral, and you’ll continue to drive results. Still, you’ll come at it from a purely operational perspective, e.g. ‘I must achieve these particular figures’ or ‘we must as a team produce this particular result’. A short-term way of leading a business forward is to see results, innovation, and growth plateau.
Aligning organisations goals, team purpose, and individual drivers is not straightforward. Leaders are human beings; what’s important to us changes over time. What was important when starting out in the earlier phase of a leadership career isn’t important when moving into an enterprise-level leadership role. Therefore, tension and a form of conflict are created within us. Leaders need to find a new driver, especially when their career advances at the same time as life evolves.
When we’re looking at team purpose and leadership alignment, we are also building practical ways of influencing others. A leader’s role is to bring others with them on a journey in an impactful and engaging way. I always start with a deep dive into personal values before we move into the purpose for the leadership team. This forms the baseline for a compelling, authentic leadership narrative.
The Power of Differences in A Team
When I’m working with a senior leadership team and a collective team to drive a mission forward together, there’s this powerful sense of engagement that comes when they share their personal values with each other. It takes their relationship as a team to a deeper level of trust and authenticity.
Recognising differences within a leadership team and the power of those differences becomes an aha moment. We can make assumptions that we’re all the same; we’ve all got a big job with significant responsibilities, driving big agendas; therefore, surely, we’re all motivated and in alignment. On the surface, maybe, however, you’d be surprised how different it is; that’s the power of diving into the person first and then bringing that into a collective conversation—a celebration of diversity and the power of different perspectives.
We want diversity within our leadership teams. It promotes idea generation, innovation, and engagement. Thinking the same way as the senior leadership team is a considerable risk. It stunts growth. Your customers are not thinking the same, for example.
Some leadership teams can fear differences. How will we agree on what to do? A team purpose becomes the anchor to lean on. The guide by which a leadership team makes decisions. Your alignment ends up being the purpose.
If you need support driving your team’s effectiveness forward in 2022, please get in touch for more information.
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