People aspire towards leadership positions to help others (especially kids) and the organization (schools) improve. Yet, many administrators and teachers express frustration because an inordinate amount of time is spent in meetings. “Too much time talking about stuff and too little time actually doing it,” some lament.
Still, meetings are moments to align mindsets and share information to help accomplish organizational goals. Any level of school leadership spends time building goals to drive improvement. SMART Goals, Short-Term Goals, Long-Term Goals, etc. When designing goals for improvement, I’ve been guilty of helping teams design goals unattached to purpose and relying on ambition alone.
Ambition is the desire for an achievement or distinction, typically (but not always) requiring clarity of purpose. Goals fueled by ambition feel nice, but are not sustainable. Ambition’s pull needs constant refueling.
Purpose keeps you moving when you hit obstacles. When resistance and doubt creep up to derail your goals, purpose pushes you past the finish line. Purpose is the reason your team works.
Purpose is what drives you.
Every career and every life has a purpose, but it is easy to disconnect when encountering adversity or becoming lost in tasks. Even worse, some haven’t clearly found theirs…yet. If two or more people are in the same room, the opportunity for leaders to connect with purpose is present.
To reconnect with purpose, ask:
- What drives you?
- What is common about the purpose behind your teammates?
- When was the moment you chose this path?
- How do you want to be remembered?
Illuminate purpose and you illuminate the path forward.