Being a leader is not easy. Being an inspirational and highly effective leader is even more challenging. While the rewards of being a leader can be substantial, they do not come without significant effort, stress and vulnerability. So what is it that keeps you going – keeps you inspired and focused on achieving those lofty goals? Is it the financial rewards that are so often used to measure our success or are you satisfying an innate need to help others succeed? Being an optimist, I tend to believe most of us are motivated by that intrinsic need to help others achieve their goals.
A recent post by Brandon Black and Shayne Hughes has labelled this inbuilt need as our ‘Noble Goal’. The post suggests that rather than focusing on the goals that benefit themselves (those self-serving goals), truly great leaders continually work towards their ‘Noble Goal’ – the one that serves to benefit others. This approach can bring the team together, build trust, respect, accountability and passion and inspire creativity and innovation.
The article, Three Ways a ‘Noble Goal’ Makes You a Significantly Better Leader, describes a case where a CEO and his employees identified the need to create a set of their own noble goal which they call the Consumer Bill of Rights. The objective of their noble goal was to restore respect with their customers and increase the level of trust among the team which in turn would create financial independence. This Bill of Rights also gave the employees a sense of pride in their work, a renewed level of enthusiasm and ultimately provided positive returns for the organisation. A great example of an inspirational leader and team who created an environment of trust, cooperation, commitment, accountability and passion.
Why should we look to create our own noble goals? There are three pretty compelling reasons why leaders should be seeking to create their own noble goals:
- Individuals and teams can break the mould and blaze new uncharted trails – while it can be scary and challenging to try a new approach, focusing intently on a ‘greater good’ can help us explore new ways of doing things.
- Focusing on others, rather than ourselves – placing a higher value on the growth of your team members, rather than your own self-preservation will make your team members feel valued and respected and ultimately the team will be stronger.
- Being transparent means we are better able to deal with criticism – we actually start to crave feedback because it will help us achieve our goal more effectively.
And another motivator for creating a noble goal is that connecting to such a goal will help us in all aspects of our life – it becomes our guiding light, our beacon on the hill that helps us make both short term and long term choices. It helps us remain grounded and connected. So what is your noble goal?