Purpose-Driven Leadership and Its Impact on Long-Term Financial Results

By Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media.  Originally posted on Hunt Scanlon Media on November 15, 2019.  

Purpose doesn’t just add to an employee’s well-being; it adds to a company’s bottom line. That’s the key finding of a survey of top executives just completed by Korn Ferry. The vast majority of respondents (96 percent) said there is a long-term financial benefit to companies that make a strong commitment to purpose-driven leadership, with 77 percent agreeing “to a great extent.”

One of the reasons purpose-driven leadership may add to corporate financial gain, according to the survey, is the impact it has on employees. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they believe understanding and embracing the mission/purpose of their organization increases employee productivity.

“Without embracing the purpose of an organization – the motivating force of why it is so important that we exist – employees will become disenchanted,” said Kevin Cashman, Korn Ferry global leader, CEO and executive development. “Many will leave, or worse yet, stay and not be engaged nor offer discretionary effort for their organization.”

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The Courageous Life Podcast

Kevin was recently interviewed by Joshua Steinfeldt on his podcast, The Courageous Life, on topics ranging from the importance of purpose and authenticity, how to inspire through storytelling, Leading from the Inside Out, and why courage may be the most important trait in leadership.

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Triple Your Focus

By Daniel Goleman; originally posted on Korn Ferry Institute on May 28, 2019. 

A strong sense of purpose, most agree, matters. But putting purpose into action does not come so easily in the world of business. For instance, in a recent survey 79% of business leaders believe that purpose is central to an organization’s success and longevity, but only 34% agree that purpose guides their decision-making.

In short, while many leaders see value in being “purpose-driven,” far fewer manage to integrate purpose into their strategy, organizational culture, and approach to employee development. The survey found that less than one third of business leaders guide supervisors to have open discussions with employees about why their work matters.

Kevin Cashman, Korn Ferry’s global leader of CEO & Executive Development, reminds us that establishing a line of sight into organizational purpose is a leader’s job, not just once as part of a “visioning” exercise but continually, incorporating purpose into every moment and process of leadership. In his words, “To optimally engage business performance, personal, team and organizational purpose must be aligned.”

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The Leadership Lift

By Susanne Blazek, Lalitha Urs, and Evelyn Orr; originally posted to Korn Ferry Institute on October 7, 2015. 

When presidents, royalty, and CEOs seek to optimize their health, they turn to elite medical centers’ executive health programs, where internists, cardiologists, dietitians, and others help them elevate every aspect of their fitness. The expert teams not only prescribe a regimen but also ask—is it effective over the course of months and years?

For alumni of Korn Ferry’s Chief Executive Institute™ (CEI) and Executive to Leader Institute™ (ELI) the value of the 12-month experience—even as much as 25 years later—is sustained and powerful.

To assess the enduring impact of CEI and ELI, intensive programs that Fast Company magazine called the “Mayo Clinic of leadership development,” researchers from the Korn Ferry Institute interviewed 39 people who completed CEI or ELI between 1989 and 2013.1 The executives were asked what the experience was like for them, what they had learned about themselves, how they applied those insights to their work, and what impact on their careers they attributed to the program.

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Women CEOs Speak

Korn Ferry Institute in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation conducted comprehensive interviews and assessments with 57 women who were Fortune 1000 CEOs.  Our goal was to discern what made them unique.  Considering the fact that only 6% of Fortune 1000 CEOs are women, some interesting findings surfaced:

  • Most never set out to be CEOs
  • Most had a key inflection point based on someone seeing and fostering their potential
  • They were particularly driven by challenge
  • They were motivated by purpose
  • They had a significantly higher degree of humility than male CEOs.

The whitepaper found HERE may be of interest as you seek to develop a more diverse and inclusive CEO/Senior Executive Pipeline.