Serve People First

Serve People with the Why

April 24, 2014 by Mark Kilens

A Leader's Purpose

The first thing any person must do to become a leader is to identify their why, their purpose. According to Simon Sinek, a trained ethnographer and the author of Start With Why, a purpose should have a unique contribution and an impact statement.

The impact could have a tangible outcome (transform the way the world does business) or be something that is in perpetuity (people live more fulfilled lives). In either instance, the purpose is so grand that it will take a lifetime to achieve, if even possible.

Having a purpose will shape the leaders journey and help them stay committed to what they believe.  

Most importantly, the leader's purpose will serve the leader with an ability to yes and no when decisions must be made. It will be their rock that they should never waiver from. A leader's purpose is a tool that should be used to inspire themselves and other people.

Those other people might be friends, family or team members at work or in a sport.

A leader that is in the business of serving people has defined a personal why or is going through the methods to discovering a personal why. The why will serve people including significant others, family members, friends and anyone that enters the leader's life. Most importantly, the why will serve the leader.

A Team's Purpose

If the leader is leading a team then the team must have a why, a purpose. The purpose is the team's passion, and that passion creates momentum. The more passion and momentum a team has, the more the team can accomplish together.

Each team member must believe in the purpose. The purpose exists to inspire and motivate the team. Each team member, if they believe in the purpose, will be excited to go to work each day, be more happy at work and will feel fulfilled when they go home. That's because they are working on something they strongly believe in.

One very important note, only people that genuinely believe in the purpose should join the team.

The team's why will help the team make decisions, and help the team create its journey it must take in order to reach or fulfill its purpose. One of the most important decisions being when to add or remove a team member.

I'm the leader of HubSpot Academy and our team's purpose is to educate and inspire people so that we, together, transform the way the world does business.

I also have a personal why that I serves me in how I make decisions throughout the course of my life. A leader's personal why, once discovered, will take an average leader and make them extraordinary.

Discovering your Purpose

I very much encourage you to discover your why if you have not already. The power of how you will and when you will discover your why lies in your hands.  

Ask friends, family and others why they think you are here, living on this great earth. Use your past to your advantage, use it as your "why crystal ball." Let it help you better understand the why that lives inside of you.

p.s. I also recommend you read Start With Why or take Simon Sinek's Why course.

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