Purpose-Driven Leadership Is Needed in 2020 and Beyond 

More than a decade ago, the book “A Purpose-Driven Life” captured the imagination and attention of the reading public. Authored by Rick Warren, it drove home the point that a life built toward achieving a personal vision through doable steps would ultimately be more productive, fulfilling, and happier. 

It also taught its readers how to create their own individual road maps that would show them how to achieve their personal and professional goals — and how to get back to the main road if they take an accidental detour. A purpose-driven life also enabled the reader to craft the meaning of his own existence. They saw that they were not just a small cog in the global industrial machinery but were actually making a significant contribution to the world they were living in.

As we enter the year 2020, company heads and their managers can take a page out of Warren’s tome if they want their organizations to achieve a higher measure of success. 

According to the research done by the Korn-Ferry Institute, purpose-driven leadership will be one of the top trends that will be motivating talent in this new decade. While compensation will always be important, 71 percent of the survey respondents said their reasons for working in a company went beyond it. About 59 percent said that what kept them engaged in their work was the knowledge that their tasks contained “purpose and meaning.” 

In short, an employee has to feel aligned or attuned with the purpose, mission, and vision of the company they are working for. It also stands to reason that they must know what those values are. Without that knowledge, they would feel adrift, disconnected from the organization, and inevitably, disengaged. Disengagement would then lead to reduced motivation, lack of productivity, and even resignation.

The benefits of purpose-driven leadership are also reflected in the company’s financial sheets. About 96 percent of the respondents confirmed that there is a direct relationship between profitability and the employees’ commitment to a management that is clear in showing its value system and loftier ideals. 

Backing this up is Real Leaders which says that companies that have successfully connected their purpose with their employees experience a higher 30 percent growth than that of their competitors. 

Many of the tech giants in Silicon Valley have long recognized and cultivated the importance of this connection. Not too long ago, in its early days, internet behemoth Google assured and encouraged its employees to “do good” and avoid doing evil. Environmental protection, diversity and inclusion, and making a difference in underserved communities have become an integral part of many of these digital leaders’ corporate social responsibility programs.

Global mobility managers who want their assignees to excel should keep these lessons in mind. With purpose-driven leadership in demand, it’s about time we ask ourselves if we had done our fair share of imparting our organization’s mission, vision, and core values to our foreign workers. 

Take the next step and discover which of these do they truly agree with and embrace. Clarify and take pains to explain what is ambiguous. Then, go on a personal journey with your assignee to determine how the two of you can further align their individual goals with that of the company’s.

It is the first step in establishing the kind of purpose-driven leadership that can act as both the compass and the anchor to your assignee in 2020 and beyond.