Purposeful leadership

Great leadership needs vision – but vision without execution is just hallucination.

Purposeful leadership

marcia griffin

This week I was very fortunate to attend a function to hear Brian Bacon, president of the Oxford Leadership Academy, speak on purposeful leadership. I was so in tune with his thoughts that I am going to steal shamelessly again!

  • To succeed leaders need to get alignment and engagement from their team.
  • Strategy and character are required to do that – but if you have to choose the more powerful of these two, it is character!
  • The reason for this is that vision without execution is hallucination!
  • Great leaders need to focus on the things that make the biggest difference.
  • Focus means staying the course.

Brian Bacon described a company/business like an iceberg – what you see above the water is strategy/plans /vision – but what is going on under that water is what is really driving the business.

Just as the iceberg is driven by the currents under the water, a business is driven by the attitudes, traditions, prejudices, feeling, fears and values of the organisation.

Leaders need to have emotional and spiritual intelligence to read the signs of what is really going on under the water.

So great leaders, he concluded, ensure that a business has:

  • Meaning. Do your people have a sense of purpose? Belief in themselves and what the business is doing?
  • Affiliation. Do your people have a sense of belonging?
  • Security. Do your people feel safe enough to take risks?
  • Trust. Do your people trust you – even those you don’t get along with?
  • Energy. Is there passion and enthusiasm?
  • Results. Results fall out of the above. If you have meaning, affiliation, security, trust, energy and passion, you will as a leader master the currents and align people with strategy.



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