Leading with purpose

What do you think of when you hear the word “purpose”? Most of us question the purpose of life, our career choices, and even getting out of bed in the morning. But before we identify your purpose, let’s begin with the definition of purpose:

Purpose – the reason for which something exists or is done made, used, etc.
1. An intended or desired result; end; aim; goal
2. The subject in hand; the point at issue
3. Practical result, effect or advantage

What if I asked you to think about your purpose within your organization, chapter or club? And what is its purpose to your campus community? For instance, is it leading change on campus? Is it impacting the campus for the greater good? How can it move the campus to greatness?

Maybe seeing an immediate, drastic change is expecting too much. Let’s slow it down a bit. Are your members motivated to make a change with their friends and peers? Start there and then think bigger.

Leadership is most effective when a purpose is clear. What are you working towards? Here are some ideas to get to the core of your purpose.

1. Identify your passion or have the organization identify its passion.
This one’s easy. Passion comes naturally. What do you care for deeply? What motivates your members?

2. Find what’s missing and what matters.
There are many good ideas that never get a chance. You might be in a meeting where someone says, “Sure, if we had [blank] then we could [blank].” Resources are always an issue. Determine your needs and then focus on what you can achieve.

3. Follow your purpose, but remain flexible.
Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. However, that doesn’t mean that you should get swayed from your purpose and drive. Every step forward gets you closer to where you want to be. Detours are okay.

4. Leave a legacy. Leave your mark.
If your purpose is to make a lasting difference, what does that look like? Visualizing your goal will remind you of what you’re working towards.
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hope.” – Andrew Carnegie

Credit // Author: Sara Lowery

Learn more about Sara Lowery and her student leadership keynote, Will Work for Leadership, at campuspeak.com/lowery.