He started like this, I have accumulated ten years of experience doing this and that. I led many teams implementing different projects over the globe. He ended up the conversation, I think, I am a great leader. What’s about you? He asked me, I am a student of leadership, I replied. He repeated his statement, I have done great jobs which made me a great leader. I followed up and asked him, what your life purpose is.
He paused and looked me in the eye. What do you mean? I explained to him, you said that the last ten years made you a great leader and great leaders by definition are purposeful beings. If you are a leader, what your leadership purpose is. It does not matter, he replied, I led different teams and managed them very successfully, so I am a great leader. At that point, the conversation was over.
As it turns out, he has mistaken the difference between a project manager and a leader. The answer to what your purpose is, is not the list of tasks and accomplishments that someone accomplished over a period of time in a certain project or business. The answer is who you are. What is your DNA? What is your contribution? What do you stand for in the world? What is your impact? What is your purpose?