?After watching this interview, I feel that a well defined leadership purpose statement is the distinction between a good leader and a great leader. Carolyn McKnight’s interview on leadership purpose statements really opened my eyes to the power of these statements, and the time and energy one needs to put into creating a leadership purpose statement. At first it seemed that completing a statement this powerful would be a very daunting task. After watching Mrs. McKnight’s interview, I am confident in my ability to come up with a statement, and that I will have the courage to follow through with it.
The most significant thing in a true leadership purpose statement is authenticity according to Mrs. McKnight. Webster’s defines authenticity as” real or genuine”. Taking this and Mrs. McKnight’s statements into account I took a minute to think about how authentic I am. I realized that I know myself well enough to know where my strengths and weaknesses lie. Another aspect of my life that makes me believe in my authenticity is that many people have told me they value my opinions. This is because I always tell them exactly how it is even when I know it is not what they want to hear.
With this knowledge I am able to establish creditability and responsiveness with other people. The question was asked “How do you begin to determine leadership purpose? ” Mrs. McKnight gave several examples of what one can do to find this. “What is the root of my life? ” was one question she brought up that can help you find a purpose. I immediately identified the roots of my life as hard work, determination, and dedication. I attribute all my success in my life to these three principles. I started to think about failures that I have had in my life.
It made me wonder if I would be able to find a place where I got off course and did not apply one of these principles. Another statement that stood out to me under this question was “Find what gives you meaning. ” My achievements are what give me meaning. I learned more about why I feel this way after I took the Strenghts Finder assessment. It pointed out that I was an “Achiever” and could not be satisfied at the end of the day without feeling that I had achieved something. Every goal that I accomplish makes me feel more confident and more ambitious about what else I can achieve.
Out of the examples she gave these are the two I think that will help me determine my leadership purpose statement. The part of the interview that discussed people struggling with conflict, with their leadership purpose was something that I really focused on. Early on in the interview an example was given that an “acorn will become an oak”. When the subject of struggle comes up Mrs. McKnight ensures us of this fact and mentions to not fight it. She goes on to talk about all the people pleasing we do throughout our lives.
This was a huge eye opener to me because I notice my need to please people, like my family. This causes conflict with the telling it straight attitude that I try to maintain with the people in my life. When I find myself trying too hard to please people, I lose some authenticity and it weakens my purpose. She stated that we really need to find what we want and not what other people want for us. I can see myself struggling with this as I develop my leadership purpose statement. I liked that she mentioned having the courage to follow what you deeply want.
To me, people who can follow a path to what they want while sticking to it through the good times and the bad are really courageous. Emotional intelligence was another key area brought up in the interview. The three areas that were brought up under this topic are self awareness, social awareness and self regulation. Our text book offers another interesting point that supports Mrs. McKnight’s insights. The text book says that mental intelligence will get you into a management position but it stops being helpful after entry into that position.
A leader needs to have good emotional intelligence to continue to lead. Self awareness has to do with my purpose and I am working towards finding that in this class. I know that I worry about how other people perceive me but I do not think that is the same thing as recognizing it, which is social awareness. I think that I will have to spend some time mastering the first two elements of emotional intelligence before I can work on self regulation. I do not know how I can stick to a path and make corrections to get back to it, until I have established a clear path.
There were some interesting comments made about behaviors that help us get closer to our purpose. A reflective practice of checking in twice a day was brought up. I thought about how I might do this and I know that I would struggle with this significantly. I worry about how honest I would be with myself, so I would have to check in with my wife or a close friend that will keep honest with my feelings. I would have never thought that some kind of physical activity would help me get closer to my purpose.
After hearing Mrs. McKnight talk about these practices I can see how it would help. A great example of a physical activity that can help you is the one Mrs. Enders gave on how posture and stance help the way people perceive you as a leader. I hunch over, it is mainly because I am tall and do not like being overly imposing to others. It is something that I can work on physically that might help me with my purpose. The examples of purpose statements that were given were amazing.
I think that the statement “I am a drop of water, flowing peacefully, showing love carving deep canyons out of granite” was an insightful statement. I think this will stay with me for a long time not because of how insightful I found it but because of the story that went with it. The fact that the CEO was able to recognize that he was not following his statement and quit his job in order to find a path back to it, was very inspirational. I want to have that kind of courage and belief in my purpose statement and I will think of this story heavily, while I am creating it.
After watching this interview a few times in preparation for this paper, it really helped me get a grasp on the concept of a leadership purpose statement. This interview has given me a good set of tools for not only creating a good purpose statement, but knowing how to stay true to it, and knowing how to deal with obstacles I will face while trying to live by it. By taking the time to reflect on this interview I started to learn more about a subject I have not spent much time on; Myself.