How does Life Purpose provide Leadership Energy?

By Shelley


  • When you wake up in the morning how do you feel?

  • What’s most important about your career and leadership journey to you?

  • How does having a bigger purpose and WHY contribute to your and leadership journey?

  • How would having a mission that allows you to discern what you say “yes” and “no” too be advantageous?

  • What type of clients do you love to work with?

  • How would having a life purpose contribute to your bottom-line?

  • Where do you get your energy?

  • What part of the earth are you here to change and serve?

  • Are we wired to need a life purpose?

  • Are you just too distracted and busy to reflect on these questions?

The questions are endless and the answers will be as individualized as your fingerprint. There is considerable growing research around the benefits of articulating a clear vision and purpose. Your vision is often what others see and your purpose is your internal compass. I often refer to your Life Purpose as your center of CALM, where you replenish your energy to grow your stamina and resiliency to continue your leadership journey.

As leaders, energy allocation in our lives is vital. When I have clear intentions of where to put my energy as an expression of my life purpose, I gain more energy! Knowing where to serve and with whom I choose to spend energy, allows me to experience and choose a more meaningful life designed by me. At a recent event for young professional leaders I urged them to “slow down to succeed”, to take time to create a space for self-reflection and I provided micro experiences on how to connect with their own positive powerful stories, a huge clue to their life and leadership purpose, WHY and authentic brand. After the experiential exercise and sharing what I call “Positive Focus Stories©” the participants witnessed some practical ways to utilize these stories ranging from, increasing self-awareness, developing accomplishment statements for resumes, social media profiling, and branding techniques. More importantly, we talked about how our stories bring us positive energy to serve others. This exercise was designed to experience being present, deep listeners. At the end of this experience we became curious as a group:

“How did it feel telling and listening to the stories? What type of energy were you creating as partners? As a group?”

We agreed that stories are practical tools for leaders, but more importantly they “felt" that shift in energy as both the listener and speaker spoke.

Can we explain this energy shift?

A practical scientific concept of mirror neurons emerging from Neuroleadership, a field involving the application of findings from neuroscience to the field of leadership and coaching with the brain in mind may provide some clues. This is a growing and vast field that Professional Coaches will continue to watch, learn and apply. The vast majority of us are wired to mirror our partners, positive or negative energy. This is an innate biological phenomenon that contributes that a smile from another person is contagious, so we smile back! Mirror neurons explain the rationale behind one person’s smile spreading smiles all over. Leadership at any level requires us to be in relationship and successfully establish rapport with others. Daniel Goleman refers to this rapport as ‘resonance’, something which emerges unconsciously owing to mirror neurons. Mirroring allows the follower and leaders to develop rapport which contributes to the effectiveness of a leader. Imagine for a moment the amount of relationships you encounter as a leader. So if we show up with leadership energy that is negative, scattered, unclear and confusing versus a calm authentic leadership presence; what effect is this having?

As leaders we can read countless leadership theories, have an impressive resume and amazing connections and confidence, yet I believe in today’s chaos and environment we need not only a combination of stellar skills and characteristics, but more importantly the ability and desire to be present and empathetic. This is the energy of Presence. That means being present for the moment, for others, for the mission, for the task at hand, an expression of your life purpose. There’s a reason why the words “presence” and “present” have the same root.

What would it feel like to have a leader listen to you, to focus just on you, in the moment? Professional Coaching falls short when the coach ignores the importance of creating, designing and modelling leadership presence for other leaders. How we show up as leaders is vital.

Presence sounds so elusive, but “we sense and feel it when we experience it.” It’s how your energy shows up, how you energy makes others feel, and how effectively you communicate both verbally and non-verbally. It's the "IT" factor that could be the unspoken edge toward your next career position, promotion, small business bank loan, joint venture that is vital to your leadership journey.

Could knowing your life purpose welcome more of this type of energy and leadership presence?

The energy of purpose can only be revealed when we quiet our mind chatter, slow down and connect with our still inner voice of the present moment, to gain clarity of the past and move toward our visions.

Shelley Cox, Principle of is a Professional Accredited (PCC) Executive Career and Leadership Coach. Shelley solves leadership overwhelm by providing her innovate signature program and movement called CALM Power™ with other leadership coaching services. Her passion is to build stamina and resiliency, helping emerging leaders, managers and entrepreneurs to emerge strong with an authentic leadership message.