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Understanding the importance of purpose in leadership

Module 2 of Growth Faculty’s Emerging Leaders Program with Kylee Stone


If you want to be an authentic leader who can motivate people to push through obstacles, you need to find your purpose. Leadership coaching consultant Kylee Stone says that knowing your vision, values and purpose gives you the building blocks of purposeful leadership.

She says 80% of employees say they want to work for an organisation that has a positive impact on society, and 3 out of 4 millennials will leave a company for another where the work is more meaningful.

In Module 2 of Kylee Stone's Emerging Leaders Program, participants learned that purposeful leadership is important for wellbeing, engagement and motivation, and impact. 

Here’s a overview of the Emerging Leaders Program and, below that, a summary of the Leading with Purpose session. (You may like to also read our summary of Module 1 "Foundations of Leadership".

What is the Emerging Leaders Program?

More than 1100 delegates are booked into the program so far, which is for emerging leaders, high potentials, early- to mid-career professionals, and early stage entrepreneurs.

It is a live virtual program that runs weekly for seven weeks, and includes membership of Growth Faculty, which gave participants automatic access to the livestream of Atomic Habits – James Clear LIVE, and Design Your Habits for Success - plus other live virtual events from Growth Faculty’s members’ program.

Facilitator is leadership coach and CEO of The Performance Code Kylee Stone (see bio at the end of this article).

(Note: Just launched: Senior Leadership Program: ‘The Formula for Business Excellence’ with John Spence beginning October 11)

The Profound Impact of Purpose

Kylee Stone began by posing critical questions to the attendees:

  • What is your purpose?
  • What does being a leader mean to you?
  • Why are you choosing this path of leadership, and what do you wish to achieve in life?

Delegates responses included: ‘I want to find genuine purpose with my leadership besides simply filling the position I’m in,’ ‘I want to create a realistic and clear purpose that encourages and stimulates motivation to persist and persevere.’

By connecting with purpose, she says, leadership emerges naturally, and when rooted in purpose, one can face and embrace challenges head-on.

While goals are measurable – like maintaining health – the underlying 'why' behind these goals is where purpose resides. As Kylee asks, "Why might you wish to boost your vitality? Is it to keep pace with your children or to excel in your professional endeavours?" Such reflections connect us deeply with our inner motivations.

Discovering Purpose: The Ikigai Framework

Drawing from the Japanese concept of Ikigai, Kylee engaged participants with pivotal questions:

  • What do you love?
  • What does the world need that you can offer?
  • What can you be paid for?
  • What are you exceptionally good at?

Through a deep reflection upon these questions, participants were encouraged to find that sweet spot – their Ikigai – which would connect them to a driving purpose, a force powerful enough to overcome any adversity:

·       Embodies the impact you have on others.

·       Aspirational, meaningful, and timeliness.

·       Expresses your deepest commitment and passion for something bigger than personal reward.

·       ‘Why we exist’ is the driving force that outlasts any obstacle.

·       Emotionally connects you to what you are in service of; the impact you have in the world.

·       Has nothing to do with ‘what’ you do; describes how you make people feel.

Purpose Within the Corporate World

While 83% of Emerging Leaders Program delegates said that they knew if their organisation had a purpose statement, only 73% knew what it was.

Corporations increasingly are judged on whether they are purpose-led, Kylee says. She referred to Simon Sinek's 'Golden Circle' concept based on the statement "People don't just buy what you do; they buy why you do it." Sinek says that every organisation knows their 'what', some the 'how', but only a few truly resonate with their 'why'. The ‘why’ is your purpose. How you differentiate yourself as a leader, as a company.

People love hearing the ‘why’ story behind the company, products and service.

To bring this point to life, renowned brands like Spotify, Nike, and Atlassian were spotlighted:

·       Spotify – to unlock the potential of human creativity

·       Nike – we exist to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world

·       Atlassian - to unleash the power in every team

Self-Reflection: Identifying Personal Purpose

Kylee then shifted the focus to individual purpose, emphasising its role in shaping decisions and actions. She pointed to purpose-driven figures like Viktor Frankl, Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, and Nelson Mandela. Their stories served as a beacon, prompting participants to consider:

  • Who are people you know who lead with purpose?

As part of the session, attendees were prompted with a series of introspective questions:

  1. What ignites your passion?
  2. What invigorates you, making you feel truly alive?
  3. What are the causes or beliefs you'd staunchly stand by, even amidst conflict or disagreement?
  4. What legacy do you envision leaving behind?
  5. If you had just one year left, how would you spend it?
  6. What difference are you committed to making, and for whom?

Delegates answers to What legacy do you envision leaving behind? included: 'How good I made people feel about themselves and their self-worth', 'honesty, fairness, a good person', 'empathetic, human, caring, resilient, fair', 'to be known for being a good human being', 'energy, commitment and passion', 'being reliable, fostering a safe, positive, and fun workplace', 'being a friend as you navigate through life', 'hardworking, self-aware', 'creating strong foundations for the future to build on', and 'success in the art of living.'

Leading Purposefully: Taking Aligned Actions

Transitioning from introspection to action, the module offered frameworks to help leaders maintain focus amidst daily challenges. Kylee shared a striking fact: we have between 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts daily, with a vast majority being negative and repetitive. Against this backdrop, she urged attendees to ponder:

  • Do you have any pivotal projects currently?
  • Does your job overshadow other meaningful activities?
  • Are you on the lookout for new opportunities or shifts in your career?

Guided by purpose, participants were shown the framework below on how to differentiate tasks based on urgency and importance, leading to more aligned and effective actions.


In conclusion, Kylee posed further reflective questions:

  • What did you newly uncover that will aid your leadership journey?
  • Which steps will you take to deepen your grasp on today's core concepts: leadership, values, and vision?

Kylee Stone's Module 2 has undoubtedly served as a compass for emerging leaders, guiding them to the heart of what truly matters: leading with unwavering, authentic purpose.

About Kylee Stone

Kylee is descendant of the stolen generations of the Wakka Wakka and Kulluli nations. She is CEO of The Performance Code, is a highly regarded leadership coach, and she has proven results as an entrepreneurial leader in her own right with decades of experience in the business of storytelling, Marketing, Strategy and Leadership Transformation.

Discounts to Atomic Habits – James Clear LIVE

Our Emerging Leaders Program participants automatically receive Growth Faculty membership - and this means you have unlimited access to our live virtual events so you can learn the latest thinking from the world’s brilliant minds. 

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