“Effort and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. For, as Socrates told us, “If a man does not know to what port he is sailing, no wind is favourable”.”
John F Kennedy
🗺️ This quote perfectly encapsulates why I believe purpose and direction are such an important part of leadership.
As I wrote last week, direction is one of the four qualities of a leader based on The Diamond Model of Leadership along with attention, energy and congruence.
Setting direction is an important role for any leadership group. And purpose sets the direction in a meaningful way. Without this nothing makes sense. This is not to say that the direction won’t change. In fact, change is constant in this VUCA (vulnerable, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world we live in.
📍 Horses have modelled leading through uncertainty for millions of years. Their environment is constantly changing – what is over that hill, what is in those bushes, where is the next water or grazing source. Their purpose is the safety, harmony and unity of the entire herd and to achieve this, they share leadership.
Just as no one horse can keep an entire herd safe and on purpose, no one leader can do this in an organisation. Leaders need to embrace sharing roles to respond appropriately and with agility to changes in the environment.
From there direction is about focusing your collective efforts on that purpose. Remember, your direction can and will change or adjust along the way.
Where are you headed and are you willing to be agile to achieve your purpose?