It may feel as though everything rests on your shoulders as the leader of a company, but you simply cannot be successful in the business world without the unwavering support of your team.

There has to be a symbiotic relationship and this doesn’t happen without conscious effort and acknowledgement from a leader.

So how do you ensure that you lead purposefully?

There are five essentials of true leadership that I believe really stand out if you intend to lead purposefully. These are:

  • Setting direction and purpose that supports the company’s vision.
  • Leading by example by living the organisational values.
  • Leading all the time, as an attitude not a position.
  • Continually and consistently communicating.
  • Inspiring followers by connecting with people on a deeper emotional level.

Unfortunately, too many leaders are hamstrung by challenges such as:

  • Being too operational.
  • Not delegating.
  • Not holding their teams accountable.
  • Not knowing how to engage, listen and use the best ideas of their people.
  • Not communicating effectively and consistently.
  • The inability to have the necessary courageous conversations to hold their teams accountable.

Coaching is an effective way to realise people’s potential. This can be done through an objective (and trained) third party who guides and encourages ownership to address these challenges.

It helps us step away from “doing” and step into “being” by creating the space necessary for reflective thinking,

Besides the five essentials listed above, the two most important things I have learned through leading are:

  1. Success in any organisation comes from working together as a team. It is impossible to achieve anything without it.
  2. The importance of acknowledging that we all need help, whether from the teams, our leader or professionally from a coach.

The key priorities to be an inspiring leader

In my experience, the key priorities for any leader to be successful and to inspire their team members to reach their individual and collective goals are:

  • A burning passion to take ownership and achieve success.
  • Personal, and often painful, growth as a leader and as a role model.
  • Aligning your team to a common goal.
  • Coaching your team to build a winning culture.
  • Reviewing, measuring and holding your people accountable to deliver.

Measuring success

Coaching is an investment, so measure the returns by the results you achieve. There are both formal and informal assessment tools. Your coach can help you use these tools to identify areas that you both agree need to be addressed

Don’t lose focus and don’t give up

There is one challenge that everyone who receives coaching faces: After finishing their sessions, they go back to work which can be so “loud and demanding” that it threatens to drown out what they have gained from their coaching sessions.

It is important that the coaching you receive:

  • Focuses you on goals that support company success.
  • Raises your consciousness on the importance of changing key leadership behaviours to meet these goals.
  • Enrols the team and inspires collective ownership to achieve these goals – if we fail, we all fail.
  • Provides practical steps to follow – knowing our commitments and obligations.
  • Provides powerful tools to ensure that we stay committed and on track to meet the goals.

 Coaching is a journey that requires significant time and commitment for true sustainability. Success isn’t achieved overnight!

By making this commitment, we are able to show up as purposeful leaders who inspire others to do the same.

This article by Brian Eagar first appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine.