Leading with Purpose: Finding Your Motivational Anchor

Delve into finding your motivational anchor to lead with clarity and purpose, enhancing your leadership impact and authenticity.

Abstract art symbolizing dynamic leadership and motivation in vivid colors
Igniting Leadership: A Vibrant Journey of Inspiration and Energy

I intend to reference this post for a handful of tactics to help us when we feel stuck in our practice when finding a connection with our work.

In leadership, "Why are you leading this?" is not just rhetorical—it's fundamental to our effectiveness and authenticity as leaders. A leader's connection and motivation lie at the heart of every successful endeavor. Yet, sometimes, we find ourselves at the helm of projects or initiatives that don't immediately resonate with our values or interests. This disconnection can lead to a lack of motivation, undermining our potential to lead effectively.

A leader's journey is not always about guiding subjects or projects that are innately appealing or clearly understood. Sometimes, it involves navigating unfamiliar territories, where our understanding of our leadership's impact and value is blurred. In such scenarios, a leader might possess all the requisite skills—strategic thinking, effective communication, and team management—but lack the intrinsic motivation to drive the project forward.

However, this apparent disconnect presents a unique opportunity. Leading something we are not naturally drawn to becomes a chance to cultivate curiosity and discover new passions and potentials. This process of exploration can be transformative, both personally and professionally.

Leaders who lack some anchor to their vision

Lacking a connection to our work can carry a weight only the individual in that position would fully understand. Some common feelings are:

  • Feeling like we are failing.
  • Doubt regarding our skills as a leader.
  • Difficulty finding the energy to do what we know is right.
  • Difficulty connecting with the content that represents our domain. We hear the words, but we cannot connect with the meaning.
  • A noticeable lack of curiosity and for no reason that is obvious to us.
  • General sense of dread, fear, avoidance, and potential loss.
  • If we are in this position, we are often stuck in the victim mindset.

If our minds are full of these emotions and thoughts, then when will we have room actually to lead? Depending on the individual, this can be a position of great suffering; self-doubt can lead to giving up altogether on our endeavors. In these moments, there is an opportunity to address this context directly. It takes work and self-exploration and can help someone stuck in this situation find a path to making real connections with their work and moving into a mind space that leads with curiosity and, potentially, joy.

Becoming curious

I have a handful of other writings on this subject that will focus specifically on particular strategies that help leaders in these situations. However, I will leave you with a nod towards highlighting a reconnection with curiosity.

To bridge the gap between our current state and where we need to be, we must engage with the subject matter creatively and proactively. It’s about finding that 'attracted motivation'—the kind that energizes and excites us and inspires those around us. This motivation often lies in understanding the broader impact of our leadership: how it can change environments, improve businesses, enhance the quality of life for employees, or solve significant world problems.

As leaders, carrying these narratives is as crucial as carrying the vision. It's about connecting deeply with the purpose of our leadership. When we articulate the outcomes, envision the changes we aim to bring and share the stories that drive us, we don’t just lead; we lead with purpose.

So, when you question your role as a leader in a particular context, take a step back. Reflect on your motivations, explore the impact of your leadership, and connect with the essence of the project. Remember, effective leadership is not just about guiding others; it's also about understanding and aligning our motivations with the goals we set to achieve. In doing so, we find fulfillment in our endeavors and ignite the same passion in those we lead.

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