How to infect others with purpose and meaning?

Why are you here and not somewhere else doing something different?
What are the challenges you want to put forward?
What is your core drive? (What do you love, what are you good at, what can you deliver to others), share it!

Its place on the pyramid

In contemporary leadership, we feel that drive connects you as a person and the result you will obtain. The result you want as a leader needs to derive its energy/drive from the values, ambitions and principles that are important to you as a human being. So, being aware of these values etc. and making the connection between them and the result you want as a leader is key. By achieving this, people will appreciate the authenticity of the results you are seeking and this will deliver a strong sense of purpose.


Without drive there can be no leadership. If there is no ‘promised land’ to which you want to guide people, you are probably not a leader.

What you can do starting today:

Define your drive

Reflect upon and define your drive: even if there was no hope of receiving any recognition or remuneration, what is so important to you that you would do it anyway? Can you translate this into the drive you have as a leader? (see also hedgehog principle)

Sense and find the facts that are ‘shocking’ to you as a person and a leader

Look around, listen to people, feel and sense: what are the core elements you would like to change? What do you see and feel that is unacceptable? It can be something that is already happening but also an opportunity that could be missed! Translate your observations into ‘shocking’ facts. (see also leadership funnel)

Share your drive and vision

Do not keep your drive, ideas and vision to yourself. Look for opportunities and forums to share them. Use team meetings not only to solve operational problems but also to talk about your drive and ideas. During these meetings, use your ideas to start fundamental discussions, and listen to the drive of your co-workers! (see also leadership funnel)

Define a playing field so that your people can play safely and happily

Define and present the core playing field you consider crucial as a leader. A playing field defines the kinds of actions, solutions and behaviours that are both desirable and unacceptable to you as a leader. These reflect the core parameters within which people can act with autonomy. Defining the playing field provides clarity and will encourage people to take the initiative because they have a clear understanding of the boundaries within which they are working. (see also leadership funnel)

Inspire by listening!

This is very important. Listen to what drives other people and inspire them by listening! Look for the core drive of others and connect it with your vision. Ask open questions and make space for discussions about drive during meetings or gatherings, e.g. devote some time within team meetings to discussions in which people can express (through words, drawing and so on) their drive, ambition and/or vision in general and/or as it relates to the company’s vision. (see also hedgehog principle)

Have a look at the tools on our Compassion to Lead website. For drive, look in particular at the ‘develop people’ tools.