Five Steps To Purpose Driven Leadership – Introduction


Reading time: 6 minutes

You might think now: Another blog about PURPOSE !? 

What can you expect here? 

This first blog post will start the journey towards a purpose driven leadership. If you want to go with me on that journey you need to spend some time to reflect and think. I have been through this journey during the last couple of years and it is still ongoing.   

I did some failures along the road, but what I can say now, those failures were my way to success. Therefore, I suggest: 

  • Be honest to yourself. Sounds easy, but it is not. 
  • Give yourself enough time. Rome was not built in a day neither. 
  • You do not lose when you are struggle and fall, you lose when you do not stand up again. 
  • Do not compare yourself with others. You are and you should stay unique. 


What are the five steps? 

During my own journey I have identified following five steps:

  1. Find Your Purpose
    The first chapter helps you find out more about your values and give ideas to identify them. It shows you the benefits of a purposeful life and work, for yourself, for your company and finally the whole society.
  2. Get Connected
    This means not to create a private and business network only. To become connected you need to sense and take care of the things, that means so much to you. It is about thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
  3. Serve & Lead
    You need to do it simultaneously. Develop a vision, create a framework for execution and be the leader. Team and greater purpose first. What is about your ego?   
  4. Become The Best Version Of Yourself
    Continuous improvement in baby steps, making mistakes and learn from them. Knowledge versus experience. And the fact that AQ (Adversity) and CQ (Curiosity), getting even more important as the IQ (Intelligence) and EQ (Emotional Intelligence) these days. 
  5. Give Back 
    It brings advantage for everyone; it helps others, and it supports you to develop yourself further. You can leave your legacy and help the world getting better by generating a ripple effect. 

I aim to publish a blog post for each of the steps, to give you a deeper insight into the steps. 

I will tell you about my own and my friends experience, the highlights and the lowlights, the traps that made us stumble and fall and how we got up again. 

If you take this journey with me, it might trigger a turning point in your life. But it is up to you to reflect, decide and change. It can help you to do a more satisfying job, live a more fulfilling life and a make the world a better place for everyone.  


What does purpose driven leadership mean for me? 


Let me start with leadership. 

Since the very beginning in my professional career, I was asked to take over leadership roles, initially functional leadership, then project leadership and finally team and organizational leadership. I recognized incredibly early that this leadership roles can have a significant impact on the results, depending on if you act as administrator or as a leader, if you manage your team by the rules or if you create a vision and start a joint endeavor with your team to reach bigger goals. 

And at some stage I have recognized when I contribute to develop sustainable leaders, this will have an even bigger impact for the teams, the results, the businesses and finally maybe even for the whole society. They are the multipliers needed to make changes happen.  

Successful leaders have a sharp vision, are brave and confident to steer the boat through stormy waters, put back their ego and let the team win. 

Who are the purposeful leaders we need? I am not only talking about the big company leaders, the CEOs, Vice Presidents or Directors. There are other important leaders out there too.  Leaders of non-profit organizations, environmental associations, sports clubs, volunteer leaders of communities, etc. They all play a pivotal role to make the world a better place. 

Purpose Driven 

Purpose is much bigger than a personal goal. Overarching goals are much more powerful than individual goals. Saving the environment gives you much more energy, supporters, and power as getting rich. More power helps you to achieve more, which gives you additional power. Can you imagine what happens when half the world is contributing towards the same overarching goal? To avoid waste, to make the oceans clean, to develop innovative technologies for the purpose of a better life. 

A company can accelerate its growth, by following a clear purpose and attracting workers having the same purpose. Companies without clear purpose are even considered as less valuable than those without. Unfortunately, some companies starting to misuse the principle of purpose driven leadership. Purpose gets provided just as a lip service, to get more performance out of their employees. This model, however, is not sustainable over a longer period. 


Should you follow the steps in the suggested sequence? 

Yes. It should make your journey faster and the outcome better.  

Let us assume you start with step 4, Become the Best Version of Yourself, you practice a lot and get great. However, someday you recognize that that your heart is longing for a different direction. Your achievements are not lost, but they are not as effective towards your real purpose.  

The reality is that you will have loops between the steps. When you have finished step one and two successfully, working already on step four or five, you might get the feeling that it would make sense to revisit step one or two. Out of my experience I can tell you, you will be right. Take your time, take another loop to reflect, reshape or even change. It is worth doing that.


How long will this journey take? 

This question is hard to answer.  

Depending on where you are already in your journey, your reflecting capability, the time you want to invest, it can take months or even several years. Like gaining other skills, it is a – never ending – learning process.  

The good news is each step you take brings you always one step closer to your purpose driven leadership. Nothing is useless, nothing gets lost.  

Connect with people around you, who are on the same journey. Even you do not share the same purpose, you can learn a lot from each other. And time flies faster when you travel together.  


What is in for you? 

One of the most required skills in that endeavor is the ability to reflect, yourself, on others and on situations. If you do not have it right now, you can obtain it during your journey. But think always:  

I can do, starts with I want to do!

Even already during the journey you will understand yourself better. You will recognize what drives you and how you use your strengths to life up to your purpose. It can help you to define and achieve your goals more successfully with more meaning at the same time. It can increase your level satisfaction and give you inner peace in your business and private life. Once you have become a purpose driven leader, you finally can act as a role model and help others to become that too. 


Why I am doing this? 

Why am I doing this?  

Someday in my life I recognized that is something missing but could not initially figure out what it was. I had a great family, an illustrious career, a great life without any financial issues at all. I should have been so happy and grateful, but I was not. In 2010 I decided to undertake a completely new endeavor, to go for and obtain the Henley Coaching Certificate. During my management career I did lots of leadership and self-reflecting courses, but this was the first time that I have heard about purpose. At this time, I did not fully understand what it really meant, but I had the feeling this is associated with that missing part of my life. More about my journey in the following posts. 

This was basically the beginning of my journey, which helped me figure out my purpose:

To help grow responsible, purposeful and sustainable leaders. 

It would be my pleasure to join you in your journey! 

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Juergen Sommer

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