Passion, Purpose and Principle

For the past 2 weeks we’ve been talking about purpose.  Great leadership requires more than purpose.  In this post I explore the 3 components required for great leadership.

Great leaders show up with Passion, Purpose and Principle.

We may not know our specific purpose, our mission, but we may have a passion that is evident.  What is that burning desire that you have or thing you love to do and would willingly do even if  you were not paid?  When we tap into our God-given passion it is a great motivator and can be one of the clues to discovering our specific purpose.

As for our purpose, without a purpose to give our life meaning we will drift and not achieve those works that the Lord “pre-destined” for us to do before we were born.  As a Purposed Leader you have an innate sense of wanting to achieve a goal or purpose bigger than yourself to the benefit of others.   Lastly, a leader who is principled displays a character consistent with fundamental truths.

Passion, Purpose Principle


We often ignore our passion for fear that it doesn’t sound ‘worthy’ enough.

I have a passion for performing, in particular public speaking. As a child this was seen positively. It was not the case as an adult.  If I mentioned my passion it was as if I was saying “I’m self-absorbed, love to be in the limelight and I’m shallow”.  Yet, my passion for public speaking led me to choose a career as a Barrister, rather than initially  becoming a solicitor.  I also had a passion for justice but frankly my passion for public speaking was greater.  I love to communicate ideas and concepts to groups.  No surprise that I later became a facilitator.

A book that helped me to embrace my passion was Discovering Your God Given-Gifts.  The book includes a tool that assesses your motivational gifts consistent with Romans 12: 6-8 (NIV)

In their book the authors, Don and Katie Fortune look at the gifts in relation to the function in the body, using the analogy of the body.  My top 2 gifts are Teacher and Perceiver/Prophet – these are considered ‘speaking gifts’. That was so validating for me to learn that.

Our passions flow from our unique personality both are God’s gift to us and should be embraced

How we use our passion is what renders them worthy or unworthy.  Principle is what helps us use them in a worth manner.


We have spoken about purpose in my last 2 posts.  We have a common purpose but discovering our  specific purpose, our mission is critical.  Having a sense of purpose is what keeps us focused – especially in the difficult times. More than just discovering our purpose we must put energy into executing it.


Today’s culture suggests that truth is relative; this was not always so.  I believe there are Universal Absolute Truths that do not change.  Jesus distilled these truths in his teachings into principles for us to live by.  There are many who say well you aren’t living by all the Bible. They will cite the Old Testament laws many of which we no-longer follow to the letter.  The challenge here is such critics lack a proper understanding of scripture and especially the context of the Old Testament laws and the concept of substance over form.  Thankfully, Jesus distilled the Old Testament laws into principles in the New Testament.  Such principles include:

  • Caring for all people – treat your neighbour the way you want to be treated (Luke 6:31, Philip 2:3)
  • Exercising personal discipline – being pro-active ( Proverbs 13:4, Heb 12:11)
  • Focusing on what’s important and persevering (Phip 3:12-14, Col 1:11-12)

No matter the critics it is even more important in today’s ‘dog eat dog culture’ that we are ‘living testimonies’.  That our lives demonstrate the good news of the Kingdom and what Kingdom principles look like.  Having a purpose helps us do this.

I invite you this week to re-discover your passion and to evaluate what principles you are living by.