8 Themes of “Purposefulness” That Successful Leaders Follow

The survey of more than 500 global business leaders conducted by the Springfield, Pa.-based consulting firm found a similar thread in the way successful leaders think: High-performing executives are focused less on themselves and more on external motivations, including the greater purpose of their work and the success of other people within their organizations.

“Their mindset any moment impacts their mood, their clarity of thinking, their sense of strength and wellbeing, and their capacity to influence others and accomplish great things,” the report found.

Specifically, eight themes executives most frequently correlated with extraordinary results, in order of importance, were:

  • Purposeful
  • Other people
  • Positive outlook
  • Maximize possibilities
  • Growth/Evolution
  • Me with me
  • Experience of life
  • Get it done

“Purposeful” included subthemes in which the business chiefs expressed the importance of having an “impact on the world,” as well as spirituality, while “other people” included subcategories such as “helping others,” “collaboration” and “connection.”

Leadership development consultant Lolly Daskal’s recipe for leadership success follows a similar pattern. She says the best way to be recognized as a leader is to let your leadership speak for itself, and that traits such as character, virtue, integrity and trust, for example, will automatically put a leader on the right path. She also says that “the best leaders get what they have by giving.”

Pontish Yaramyan, president and CEO of Gap International, says “It makes sense that to achieve exceptional thinking, strong leaders are thinking about how to make a difference in the world, while also considering other people, because oftentimes, to achieve great things, the contribution of others are required.”

Read the full Gap International report: Tapping Into Genius.

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Dale Buss
Dale Buss is a long-time contributor to Chief Executive, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and other top-flight business publications. He lives in Michigan.

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