Leading with Clarity, Purpose and People

Over the past weeks, I’ve engaged with CEOs and have listened to them present powerful ideas.  I witnessed a resounding message emanating from these talks and client meetings. This key leadership message is: It all comes down to People and Purpose.

Keep your Purpose Clear and Simple

At an Executive Roundtable event, Suntrust CEO, Bill Rogers, touched upon on how a company’s purpose and services need to be clear. The mission needs to be uncomplicated, short and sweet, so that it’s easy for employees to remember. “To run a thriving organization, you need to create clarity and purpose”. If people are confused about why they’re there, then it’s harder to keep them engaged.

Focus on Cultivating People

This emphasis of delivering a clear corporate message is equally matched by the focus on People. A CEO of a software startup I spoke with described his company as being in the talent business. “We are fighting for talent every day. Attracting the right people is one of my top priorities. It all starts with that.” All  business leaders know that finding the right people and keeping them motivated is essential to having a thriving organization. Now they are making sure they focus their energy and company resources on that. They are practicing what they preach.

Slow down, Realign and Reconnect

Another Entrepreneur/CEO I’ve engaged with reflected on how he felt his business was expanding too quickly. Concerned that they were losing focus and not communicating well internally, he came to realization that it was time to put people first.  He was shifting his priorities to decelerate other business objectives in order to reconnect with employees, and realign their company’s purpose.

Keep Your People Inspired

This common theme of investing in your company’s people was conveyed yet again during a panel for a Miami Tech event.  Mike Parra, CEO of DHL Express, shared: “I see myself as the Chief Energy Officer”. You need to guarantee that people come to work with the right energy to bring results. How can you develop a culture and business process that creates energy? I offer different strategies to this topic in my recent Exploritat post, Creating Energy in your Team.

Making the Circle Tighter/Increasing Your Accessibility

Are you creating the environment in your organization for people to feel engaged? At Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg holds a weekly “All-hands” webcast for top management to engage with all employees. Designed to allow employees to have more visibility and clearer messaging, it also enables upper management to have a direct ear to inspire their people with a renewed sense of purpose and energy and reassert their purpose. Lori Goler, Facebook’s Head of People, explains “It really is a way for people to express what’s on their mind. And for us to hear that.”1

Undeniably, the drums are beating louder and clearer that to be an effective leader in today’s business world, your mantra must embrace Purpose and People. I’ve observed many leaders extolling the need for creating clarity, aligning with the company’s goals, and connecting with people. Be sure to keep these ideas front and center in your mind as you head into every week.


Leticia Hartmann is a Certified Executive Coach who specializes in leadership and career growth. She is the founder of Exploritat.