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Be A Good Leader on Purpose

Without a doubt, the conversation I have with my clients the most centers on purpose, because it is the most crucial part of your life as a leader. It’s the anchor from which all your efforts will stem, and without a strong one, your message will undoubtedly sink. I can tell you with all sincerity that to know a good leader or to see a good brand is to witness purpose in action. If you want to be successful, you can’t NOT know your purpose.

For most people, purpose isn’t instantly knowable. Often, it takes years of experience, failure and plenty of examples of what we DON’T want to see to help us hone in on our purpose. Sometimes you find your purpose by knowing clearly what your purpose IS NOT. But then there are some, like famous artists or concert violinists you can see on stage with their eyes closed, swaying to the music, who have connected with their purpose very early on and are living examples of purpose in action.

I came to find my purpose many different times throughout my career, through many very different scenarios. But what I love about that is the fact that no matter where I was or what I was doing, the purpose was the easiest thing for me to see. Serving and encouraging others is my purpose. I knew it during my 20s, when I was in the Navy, piloting a large submarine-hunting jet aircraft whose engine caught fire over the Pacific Ocean and I had to guide my crew back to safety. I knew it during my 30s when I worked with Coca-Cola, where I was able to forge some amazing partnerships and bring joy to so many people through my pin trading program during the Nagano Olympic Games. I also knew it years later in my 40s when I worked at Newell Brands heading the CardScan business, where I had led a team of forty to believe in themselves after being leaderless for a year only to have to support them as one by one in 2008 when we each were laid off.

I also know it now, fifteen years later, as the leader in my own company, BrandAlive, which I started expressly to help others find and connect with their purpose and make their brands come alive in the hearts of those who experience them.

You may be struggling right now because you don’t know your purpose. Or maybe you thought you knew, but something made you question it. Perhaps you worked in a job you loved and were good at, but you were recently laid off and now blame yourself or think you were wrong about your talents. Maybe you’re further along in your career and no longer in your 20s (when you think you should have honed in on your purpose) and you’re worried it may be too late.

I just wanted to remind you that it’s never too late or too early to find your purpose. But if you don’t find it and hope to start a business or become a leader who wants to inspire others, you’d better be sure to find your purpose before you begin your new journey.

I created an eBook on Brand Strategy whose first chapter focuses on purpose that might help get you started, which can be found here. I wanted to help my clients start the journey of connecting with their purpose, and it’s my pleasure to share that with you here, for free.