Tilt 365 Bloggers

The Purpose of Leadership

The Purpose of Leadership

For every effort, inquiry and pursuit there must be an end that it serves in order for it to be a worthwhile endeavor. For what reason does a leader exist, if not to gain some kind of result at some future date. And that result must, without question, be something that compels others to also take action or make effort in service of some important outcome. Thus, the purpose of leadership and formation of teams is to accomplish some kind of end result that engages others in a way that propels forward motion sustainably over time and through tough times, even great acts of human effort. 

Every worthwhile effort requires a meaningful purpose.

Everything we desire is for the sake of something. Some final outcome or result that we want enough to take that action. It follows that the ends must therefore be greater than the means. Greater than the collective individual actions, in that all are conducted with the intent of some great future result. For why else would we lead and ask others to join us in our endeavors? Indeed, it might even be morally wrong to ask others to join in our own goal-seeking if the moral reason behind our vision of the future is not genuine and worthwhile to all who participate and serve. And isn’t leadership, in itself, a request to forgo one’s own possible efforts in service of another person’s vision of the future? If so, then leadership demands that a leader explain, with clarity, the moral reasoning underlying their vision and let others choose for themselves whether they join that effort. Primarily because it requires them to put their efforts into the service of the end result and asking them to do so without understanding the ultimate “why” cannot be good or right. 

The purpose for which we work must transcend our personal aims. 

As such, the moral underpinnings of a vision must also be greater than the one who begins and leads it. This is because the aims and limits of one person cannot contain enough moral impetus to ask others to put the bulk of their daily work in service to it. A leader who is suspected to be mostly self-serving  or insincere about the true meaning of their purpose, is merely manipulating others in being complicit with their own agenda or personal benefit and not truly grounded in service to some moral good. Therefore, to be a great leader means to ensure one’s followers are contributing their effort in sincere service to the mission and not to the person leading. Only then, can human hearts and hands align around an effort that is meaningful and sustainable enough to outlive the person starting or leading the path to the goal. 

As such, as the author of the Tilt framework, body of research and teachings, I want to be clear about the end result and vision that I intend for it to rigorously and persistently serve. I did not name the company, the model or anything about it with my own name for a reason. I am merely the vessel, not the purpose and so it’s identity must outlive me. As leader, I am flawed, but the work itself has a purpose that is pure and discerned creatively. 

The purpose of the framework is profound. 

The Tilt model, metrics, tools and teachings that support it are designed to provide a visually memorable unifying framework and set of organizing principles for leaders and systems to measure their efforts against. My contribution to the field of leadership philosophy is that I believe character strength is the foundation and most important indicator of leadership that is grounded in good moral purpose and therefore produces great outcomes over time. Furthermore, I have posited that if we don’t name, define, research and measure the components of character strength in leadership, then how can we grapple with them and understand them, must less serve them? 

The outcomes may take many forms, but serve one purpose. 

The resulting plethora of outcomes, I hope, will be numerous and in a variety of fields and domains. The one thing they will have in common is the speed and enjoyment of creative flow that can result when people come together with a common purpose to do what is right in their mind, heart, gut and spirit holistically. All in service to some kind of right outcome that serves the sustainability of creative life. Any other aim would be meaningless. As such, we need a visual frame within which to conduct the dialogue and expand upon it so we can discuss the principles that organize right-thinking, right-feeling, right-action and right-purpose. This model is intended to be a unifying frame where we can explore our potential, our boundaries, our dilemmas, our polarities and in the end, always come back to defining the outcomes we want to organize around. All in service to the generations that follow us. Only that end goal provides a lasting result that can be worth our great efforts.