Leading With Purpose: Connect and Inspire Your Team With Ellen Glasgow
About Ellen Glasgow
Ambitious, creative and resourceful are the three words Ellen Glasgow, Regional Vice President of BoardEffect, a Diligent Brand, would use to describe herself. These traits allow her to lead effectively and influence her team to meet its mission. The driving force behind her leadership is the desire to inspire and be inspired. Working with mission-focused organizations allows her to stay close to her purpose and be inspired by the incredible work of her clients. Glasgow herself is guided by three principles:
- “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”: This Peter Drucker quote is one of Glasgow’s greatest inspirations. It is a reminder that leading with purpose requires considering the impact of decisions, large and small.
- Know your WHY: Remaining in touch with the motivation behind your leadership drive is critical. Being true to the mission itself is key to leading with purpose.
- Your purpose, our passion: Glasgow believes that purposeful leaders focus on engaging with their teams, inspiring them to make decisions together rather than using a more hands-off approach. BoardEffect’s solutions empower this engagement, so your purpose can always be forefront.
Glasgow’s proudest moment as a leader is not her own, but when she recently saw her team overcome adversity to succeed. After a volatile 2020, changes related to the pandemic and other external forces pushed her team to work together and rise to the occasion, resulting in 100% of her team members hitting their goals.
“I was so proud of my team; they really, against adversity, with hurdles, [and] uphill battles, all came in strong and really overcame those and hit their goal. And to me, as a leader, when I’m only as happy as my team, I’m only as successful as my team. And so, when the collective team individually hit their goal, that was a high point for me.” – Ellen Glasgow, Regional Vice President, BoardEffect
Seeing those team members reach their ultimate goals is both personally and professionally very rewarding for her. She says, “The reason why I do that is really about being able to inspire my team to reach their full potential.”
Leading With Purpose
For leaders looking to be more purpose-driven, Glasgow would say that people who lead with purpose tend to engage with their teams more and inspire them to make decisions together rather than taking a traditional approach.
Glasgow is a big fan of a meritocracy, which does not support chains of command or being hierarchal when leading a team. Leveling the playing field is what allows leaders to lead alongside their teams. Partnering with their teams lets leaders focus on each team member and how they connect to the organization’s vision statement or mission.
Regarding problem-solving, attributes like ambition, creativity, and resourcefulness are all essential traits for leaders trying to be more purposeful. Glasgow thinks that as a leader you have to be a great effective problem solver; You have to solve problems for the organization, and you have to help your team solve problems. Being ambitious, creative, and resourceful puts her in a situation to help solve those really important, critical problems for her team, and for the company as a whole.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” -Peter Drucker, Author, The Effective Executive
Leading with purpose is different than other forms of leadership, but it takes courage to lead in any capacity; therefore, it must take courage to lead with purpose. One alternate type of leadership style involves more directing than it does influencing. A purpose-driven leader will lead by example to influence change instead of directing people on what they should be doing. Leading with purpose requires a person to be vulnerable and willing to make mistakes publicly because mistakes are how people grow.
What Is Your WHY
The word lead is Gaelic for a path. When Glasgow thinks of leadership, she is viewing it through that lens. She says, “it’s really about inspiring the team to come alongside you and your journey and your path towards a common vision and goal.”
Glasgow didn’t seek out leadership, but boy, did it find her. Throughout her life, she discovered that she would always lean into the leadership role when she found herself in situations where no leader was present. She would often find herself in situations where there isn’t a clear vision or maybe not as strong or established leader, and she would end up seamlessly leaning into that role.
At the core of it, Glasgow identifies that her why is about being able to inspire her team to reach their full potential. When asked about her purpose, she said, “I think my why is really; I have a heart for mentorship. And so that is a muscle that I’m able to flex in my leadership role as I lead with purpose and am a servant leader to my team.”
Your Purpose, Our Passion
“An organization that leads with purpose really needs to focus on the human element of leading with empathy, but also focusing on executing a common goal or shared vision,” says Glasgow, whom her clients continuously inspire. Her clients consist of volunteers doing what they do because they know the mission and are passionate about it. It’s an honor for her to be a part of their journey.
Technology promotes good governance by eliminating hurdles and roadblocks to achieving the mission. BoardEffect provides tools that help boards become highly engaged, empowering leaders to make the best, most effective decisions by providing them access to critical information in a secure environment. Glasgow says of the opportunity to help mission-driven boards, “for us to be partnering alongside them as they make the most critical decisions to drive their mission forward, it’s really, really important to us.”