Last week I spoke to a situation where a business skipped past the process of defining the purpose of their enterprise in favor of hiring a charismatic quarterback to infuse new life into the enterprise.
I shared my analysis as follows: They traded purpose for personality (read here).
As is always the case with a short commentary, there is more to the story.
At the end of the day, a successful enterprise does not need to choose between the artificial contrasts postulated as Purpose vs. Personality. More accurately, a highly successful organization needs both: A clear statement of its purpose and a leader who has the skill, personality, and drive to move the team in the direction of accomplishing its purpose.
By clarifying the organizational mission (purpose), over-all direction is proclaimed in an enduring articulated format that will span the lives of multiple senior leaders. As a result, there is a solid foundation on which every successive leader can devise strategy and build momentum: momentum toward the north-star of the organization’s purpose for existing.
At the same time, a clear purpose without someone at the helm with the competence to lead in its pursuit is nothing more than a good idea (at best).
The key in this matter is to have both: a clear purpose that is known and pursued by everyone on the team; and a leader who can keep the team moving in its purposeful direction.
What are your thoughts??