THE BLOG

The Leadership Philosophy of 3 P's: Passion, Purpose, People

12/07/2013 04:09 pm ET | Updated Feb 06, 2014
  • Ekaterina Walter Marketing Innovator, Bestselling Author, Global Evangelist at Sprinklr

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

In his book Start With Why Simon Sinek says "People don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it."

Finding your "why" before communicating your "what" or your "how" to the world is critical to both business success and your personal growth. If you don't know your purpose, you cannot clearly communicate, as well as effectively execute, your mission. You cannot stay laser focused on what you want to build long-term. It'll be easy to veer off of your path and hard to maintain inspiration. But most importantly it'll be difficult to find your tribe and build a culture of authenticity and passion that excites others.

Let me explain.

2013-12-05-Imagesinek2.jpg

You see, all great achievements start with passion. Passion is what fuels everything. Passion is what motivates you, whether your motivations are spiritual, artistic, political, economic, social, or personal. It is your unique lens on the world that shapes not only who you are, but who you connect with and what opportunities you pursue. You know that you are passionate about something when you become restless, when you wake up every morning knowing that you cannot not create whatever it is that you are passionate about.

Passion is what shapes your purpose in life and in business. When the idea for a venture or a cause starts taking shape, purpose is what ultimately helps define it. But most importantly, that same shared purpose is what brings together your tribe, the community of people (both internal employees and external partners and customers) who believe in your cause, in what you are trying to build. That shared passion, that shared belief, is what motivates people, gives them the sense of belonging and excites them about accomplishing the same mission and being a part of your movement.

Ask yourself this: "If I remove my company's logo from the slides I am presenting to the community, would anyone recognize what company I am talking about?" That emotional connection that people share is what's so crucial -- it is about surrounding yourself with people (employees, partners, clients, and vendors) who believe what you believe. The emotional connection, where people can relate to you, creates authenticity, it breeds trust and sparks innovation.

No matter how you look at it, no matter which field you are in, no matter how brilliant your ideas are, success is a team sport. -- Ekaterina Walker

That is why the third P in this equation is as significant and the first two. Innovation comes from people working together, challenging each other and supporting each other every day. There is no such thing as a self-made man. The success of our missions depends on people we partner with. Whether you are a growing business or an established one, if you don't have a team or partners who share your vision, your dream, and your goals, your business will not be able to reach its full potential. No matter how you look at it, no matter which field you are in, no matter how brilliant your ideas are, success is a team sport. You can imagine the most amazing products or services in the world, but it requires people to make your dream a reality. That's where culture and leadership become vital.

To be a great leader, you need to know your "why." To give life to your ideas, you need the support and shared passion of your tribe. To inspire people, you need to spark movements, not just produce a well-designed product backed by a creative marketing campaign. Only then you will ignite and excite people in unimaginable ways. And that is what leads to a long-term success.

Ideas are not set in stone. When exposed to thoughtful people, they morph and adapt into their most potent form. TEDWeekends will highlight some of today's most intriguing ideas and allow them to develop in real time through your voice! Tweet #TEDWeekends to share your perspective or email tedweekends@huffingtonpost.com to learn about future weekend's ideas to contribute as a writer.