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Bobby Jones: Leading with Purpose During Turbulent Times

Bobby Jones: Leading with Purpose During Turbulent Times

Leading with purpose during turbulent times is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.

Global economic crises, political instability, technological disruption, social unrest — these are just a few of the challenges leaders face today. These challenges can be overwhelming and cause us to question our leadership abilities. This is why leading with purpose is more important now than ever.

Leading with purpose means having a clear and meaningful reason for doing what we do. It means having a vision that inspires us and those around us. It means aligning our actions with our values and beliefs. Leading with purpose is a necessity because in times of uncertainty, purpose provides us with direction, motivation, and resilience when we need it most.

How to Lead with Purpose During Turbulent Times

1. Define Your Purpose

What is the reason for your existence as a company? What is your mission? What are your values? We need to clearly understand these questions and ensure they are communicated throughout the organization. Purpose is not just a statement; we must embed it in our culture and reflect it in our actions.

2. Inspire Your Teams

In times of turbulence, our employees can feel anxious, demotivated, and disconnected. We must provide them with a sense of purpose beyond the bottom line. We need to show them how their work contributes to a greater cause. We need to create a sense of meaning and belonging. Purpose can be a powerful driver of engagement, loyalty, and performance.

3. Become Agile and Adaptable

Turbulent times require us to be flexible and open to change. We need to be able to pivot quickly and make tough decisions. However, we should not lose sight of our purpose in the process. Our purpose should guide our decisions and actions. It should provide us with stability and continuity amidst the chaos.

4. Lead by Example

We cannot expect our teams to embrace purpose if we do not embody it ourselves. As leaders, we must understand and stay guided by our personal north star. We need to be authentic, transparent, and accountable. We need to walk the talk courageously. Our purpose should not just be a marketing slogan; it should be reflected in our leadership style and behaviour.

Case Study: Purpose in Action

Sephora’s Chief Purpose Officer Deborah Yeh, whom I’ve enjoyed working with as a speaker and consultant, is an excellent example of purpose-driven leadership.

Deborah demonstrates leadership in inspiring ways, including showing her team the significance of their work in contributing to a larger purpose. For Sephora, this means expanding how the world perceives beauty by discovering, unleashing, and championing the extraordinary in each person. Here’s how she puts purpose into action within her teams:

  1. Fostering Meaning and Belonging through Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): Deborah strongly emphasizes DEI, as seen through Sephora’s commitments. She’s led initiatives such as the “Black Beauty is Beauty” campaign and promoting Black-owned brands. Deborah recognizes that beauty is a sector of visibility and representation. Through these campaigns, she fosters a sense of meaning and belonging among her team and the larger community by highlighting the significance of inclusive beauty.
  2. Authenticity, Transparency, and Accountability: Deborah is authentic in her approach to marketing and leadership. She believes that marketing reflects the world and community, and she has been transparent about the importance of inclusion not just as a theoretical concept but in her lived experience and as a real idea that impacts business. She holds herself and her team accountable by ensuring that Sephora plays a role in bringing authentic brands to diverse consumers.
  3. Leading by Example: Deborah leads by example by bridging the gap between data-driven approaches and storytelling in marketing. She acknowledges the importance of telling stories and taking actions that align with those stories. By focusing on initiatives that drive change and inspire action, she demonstrates the significance of having a larger purpose for the brand.
  4. Empowering her Team: Deborah empowers her team by overseeing a diverse group of professionals, from data scientists to photographers. This collaborative approach helps her team understand how their specific roles contribute to the larger vision of Sephora and create a sense of meaning and belonging.

Through my talks and workshops, I love seeing how when leaders and their companies really grasp and live out their purpose, it changes everything. Their teams become happier, healthier, and more driven, building strong bonds and handling stress better.

This makes everyone more involved and creative and helps them find real meaning in their work. When leaders and employees tap into their talents and connect genuinely, they become better at innovating, growing together, and excelling in an environment that’s guided by shared values and vision.

A pioneer of purpose transformation in both leaders and organizations, Bobby Jones is the co-founder of the award-winning consultancy, Conspiracy of Love, which helps organizations drive business growth through societal impact. He’s also the author of the bestselling book, Good is the New Cool: The Principles of Purpose.

Bobby’s transformative presentations illustrate how purpose is a catalyst for building work environments that inspire leadership, collaboration, and personal fulfillment, which leads to decreased overwhelm and increased levels of engagement, innovation, and connection.

Contact us to learn more about Bobby and what he can bring to your next event.

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