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Sense of Purpose, Congruence and Vitality Published: Sunday, December 24, 2000 By: Dr. Manuel Angel Morales

The broadest topics that organization leaders are being encouraged to inject into their work settings are mission and vision. They are the right thing to be focusing on in this period in history when some organizations have lost their sense of direction in the midst of all the turbulence, paradoex and contradictions that they face. One thing is to care about daily execution and another is to do a purposing process as an essential leadership quality for achieving high performance.

Purposing is the continuous stream of actions by the formal leadership that has the effect of inducing clarity, consensus and commitment, regarding the organization`s fundamental mission. The suggestion here is to couple expression with the actions called purposing. Leadership is also caring about implementation, that is, translating vision into concrete steps.

The development of key skills such as intellect, experience, verbal charm, insight into other human beings and knowledge of strategic management processes are unquestionably key qualities. Beyond that, the public wants to know these days the answers to the following questions: what does the person care about? What matters to the person? What does the person have genuine, spontaneous and strong energy for? What is at the care of the person`s being? In short, people want to know if their leaders are good human beings…

It is up to the leadership to state with intelligence, will and conviction the value and intellectual groundings on which the work of the organization will rest. They may be the following: 1. knowledge and research foundation, 2. financial health, 3. quality and service demands of the task, 4. conformance to requirements and ethical standards, 5. consistency of decision - making and behavioral undertakings, 6. craftsmanship of the kind of environment or climate members want, 7. obedience to a legitimate higher authority working with such preceding grounds must be fleered persuasively in response to the question, why are we doing things the way we are? The managerial lesson is that when the grounds of values are undercut, the meaning goes out of the activity.

The great Carl Rogers (On Becoming a Person, 1961) was concerned with the degree of match versus mismatch between three things: a person`s total experience of the situation, the parts of it that are allowed into awareness, and what it overtly communicated to others. For us call here is to overcome the bureaucratic syndrome where the real feelings managers have about themselves, their organizations, and their stakeholders are being systematically suppressed, distorted and ignored in favor of maintaining a cosmetic front called executive, manager or professional…

The best leaders are able to reach deeply into themselves for necessary inspiration, courage, wisdom and tenacity for working adequately. This capacity is not just another element on the attributes of leadership list, but the profound opportunity to learn, grow and dare to make a contribution.


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