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3 signs you are not leading with purpose and what to do about it

Leading can be a daunting task. It can throw up all kinds of uncomfortable feelings, resulting in you believing that you’re out of your depth and struggling.

When you are leading with purpose, it feels different. You stay in flow, perform better and it impacts every area of your life, not just work. But what happens if you’re not? What signs should you be looking for to understand that something is amiss? And finally … what can you do about it?

Let’s start with the signs …

1. You Feel It

For many leaders, when they’re not leading with purpose, they feel that something is not right. They’re not comfortable. Whilst they may not be massively anxious or falling apart, there’s a feeling that things are not working out how they want them to. This low-level grumble of dissatisfaction stops life and work being a joy. It’s something akin to your shoes being half a size too small; not debilitating, but not right either. This is a sign that you aren’t leading with purpose.

2. Misdirected Self-Awareness

There’s a lot of chatter in the world of business about how self-awareness is a good thing. And a level of self-awareness certainly is helpful. Paradoxically however, too much self-awareness, directed in the wrong way can cause anxiety and restlessness. We start to second-guess every decision, and then overregulate our behaviour by fixating on what others might think.

If we’re constantly framing our thoughts, words, and actions through the lens of what others will think, we’ll be permanently on edge. Our internal policing will cause us to think that the “real me” is in some way inadequate or wrong. We become worried or concerned with how people may perceive us, and as a result fall into just wanting to follow the crowd. This isn’t purposeful.

3. Imposter Syndrome

The last sign is a term that many people encounter at some point in their life. In the situation we find ourselves in we start to believe we are not capable or deserve it – we feel like an imposter.

Whilst it’s human nature at times to doubt ourselves, living with a constant fear of being found out isn’t healthy and will impact our performance. It would be rare for someone to receive a job or promotion without being deserving of it. However, when imposter syndrome takes hold, we constantly compare ourselves to others, all the time believing that those around us are more capable and that we will one day be found out.


What is a purposeful leader and how can you achieve it?

A purposeful leader is somebody who has a deep sense of identity, and a deep sense of purpose that guides them in how they lead across all roles they perform in life.

They are those who we’ve met in the past who seem have it together and are purposeful in everything they do. They are not perfect human beings, as this is not possible. They also are not immune to the issues listed above like anxiety or imposter syndrome, but they are able to cut through these signs because they have a deep belief in who they are and why they are here.

A purposeful leader is a person who lives as their authentic self, enabling them to be fully comfortable in their own skin. They have a clear sense of purpose, where they know what success and fulfilment means to them, and what impact they’re trying to have in the world.

And to bring their identity and purpose to life, a purposeful leader has a well-developed practice for how they show leadership. They are focused on investing their energy and attention in a mindful way every single day.

A purposeful leader doesn’t just do this in the corporate sense, they focus on their identity, purpose, and practice for showing leadership across all aspects of their life. And through this approach, they stop being consumed by the belief that they need to ‘be a leader’ because their sole focus is on showing leadership.

Becoming a purposeful leader starts with contemplating on ‘The 3 Questions’TM – Who am I? Why am I here? How will I lead? – as it is these questions that enable you to develop your identity, purpose, and practice for showing leadership.


Become A Purposeful Leader

Book a call with Rob if you want to learn more about becoming a Purposeful Leader.