One of the most defining moments in a person’s life is to establish his or her own individual life purpose. Once established, what can be frustrating is the ability to maintain that purpose.

This can be particularly difficult in a large workplace that faces sustained periods of adjustment, transformation and restructuring as management reacts to market challenges. As well as unifying their team around common business goals, leaders are expected to nurture the individual goals unique to every team member.

The resilience of both the individual and the team is directly impacted by an ability to identify a clear purpose — one that is not subject to the winds of change or challenge.

So we have two questions that need answering:

  1. How do you maintain your purpose in the face of change or challenge?

    Companies have an expectation that their leaders will successfully juggle the ever-changing kaleidoscope of individual and company purposes.

    Companies have an expectation that their leaders will successfully juggle the ever-changing kaleidoscope of individual and company purposes.

  • Take the time daily to find enough space to quietly set expectations for yourself, others and situations that may arise.
  • Acknowledge that, ‘who you are’ is different to ‘the crisis or stress you are facing’. For example, a project or task may have failed but that does not make you a failure.
  • Look after your energy levels. It is very difficult to be focused and full of drive when you are fatigued. Be a role model for your team and get enough sleep, water, exercise and a healthy diet.
  1. How can you continue to grow your appreciation for the kaleidoscope of purpose amongst your team?
  • Engage in practical empathy. Always look for ways to better understand the perspective of fellow team members. Often understanding a person’s history helps you to understand what drives their perspective and ultimately their purpose.
  • Be quick to identify, respond to and respect different people’s personalities.
  • Give the purpose of others value and understanding. If appropriate, ask people what are the priorities and passions that drive their purpose?

Rhett Morris is a co-owner and director of Bulletproof People. In the last four years he has delivered in excess of 600 workshops on topics including resilience, managing conflict, drugs and alcohol, and fatigue and energy management.