The Compassionate Leadership Series: ‘It starts with you’

Monday, 13th June 2022

Pamela Weeden asks when was the last time you felt real purpose in your work?

When was the last time you felt real purpose in your work? If you are lucky, you can answer that with ‘yesterday’, or ‘right now’; however, for many, the to do list and the demands made on you by the system as a whole have moved you more towards the end of the spectrum where you are waking at 3am and completely unable to stop the mental chatter. Funny how much our brain has to tell us in the early hours, isn’t it?

Leah Weiss Ph.D

The truth is, before leadership can move towards becoming truly compassionate and we can head up organisations hallmarked by psychological safety and innovation, all leaders need to begin with themselves. First and foremost, there needs to be a strong grasp of purpose, which underpins all else. Likewise, there needs to be a full understanding as to how this aligns with the organisation’s purpose, vision and values because if there is a disconnect, the impact on wellness is significant.

So, if you are someone who has lost a bit of connection to purpose or a refresher would be of value, work through the following process and see what emerges for you. It works better if you have a partner but not impossible if you are on your own; you just need a bit of creative adaptation:

  • Write down your top 5 to 10 values
  • Write down a quick, 3-minute version of your life story
  • Either tell this to a partner or read it back to yourself after leaving a break. Ask your partner or reflect on your own story: which values do you feel are embodied in your life story? Are they a match for your original list? Are you actually living your values?

Challenge to purpose: 

  • List your most important values and beliefs
  • List the emotions and life challenges that work against you living your values. (fear, anxiety)
  • List the ways you behave that undermine your ability to live your values (at work or at home or elsewhere). These are the behaviours you want to avoid. Example: Procrastination when anxious.

Turn these three lists into a statement—a sentence that summarises your goals

  • Write your top three big picture goals
  • Now get out your calendar – over the last few weeks, how much time have you devoted to investing in your big picture goals?
  • What does creating more time for your goals look like?

Pam Weeden is a qualified professional Executive Coach and Mentor who is passionate about leadership development and believe in facilitating the growth of the person and the professional. Throughout the pandemic Pam offered pastoral support to the Trust's senior leadership team. 

You can follow Pam on Twitter: @PamWeeden

The Compassionate Leadership Series: ‘It starts with you’