Purpose: It’s Actually Not All About You

Initial Thoughts on Leadercast 2017

This past Friday, more than 100,000 people world-wide replaced a “normal” Friday with an “extraordinary” Friday.  They attended Leadercast: Powered by Purpose. Leadercast is the world’s largest leadership summit, simulcast out of Atlanta. Centennial and several other sponsors hosted a local site in Erlanger, KY.  There, more than 300 leaders from 31 different organizations gathered to hear Daniel Pink, Andy Stanley, Henry Cloud, Molly Fletcher, Suzie Welch, Donald Miller, and Tyler Perry share what they feel it means to be “Powered by Purpose.”

I write this entry just two days’ post-event, and I have to admit, I am still taking it all in. I am excited to connect with my colleagues tomorrow to learn more about their “take-aways.”  I am ready, however, to share my biggest epiphany with you.

It comes courtesy of the amazing Andy Stanley.  Stanley shared that to be powered by purpose, “You must say yes to something that is bigger and broader than me.  You must be willing to be means to an end that is not—you.”

That thought initially stumped me, and I have kicked it around all weekend.

I’ve concluded that when previously ruminating on the age-old query, What’s my purpose?, I was focusing on the wrong word in that question. I had become hung up on “my” rather than “purpose.” Just as there is no “I” in “team,” there is no “I” in “purpose.”  Don’t be shocked, but, your purpose isn’t really about you. Purpose is actually discovered and achieved by your effect on others.

Maggie Frye and her team from Core Consultants brought Stanley’s comments full circle for me. They lead our group on a “Think it, ink it, do it” exercise that helped me further clarify “purpose.”  The “Think it” question was a loaded one: “WHO do I want to be in this life?”  We were then given some time to think about it before we “inked it” on a post-it note, stuck it to the wall alongside the answers of others, and tweeted it to the “universe.”

My answer? I would like to be a pillar of strength for others.

Hmmmm.  That answer sounded very purpose-like to me.  I have continued to think about it, and I’d like to add to the statement. Who do I want to be in this life?  I want to be a pillar of strength and love for others.

There are more reflections to come on Leadercast 2017.  We look forward to sharing how purpose relates to business, branding, fear, relationships and more.

In the meantime, think about Core’s question to our group. Who do you want to be in this life?

“Ink” your answer below.

Ink this too:  Leadercast 2018—May 4th, 2018.  Have a great week!

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