How I found my purpose – and how to discover yours – Purpose-led series

Oh I want to put a ding in the universe that Steve Jobs talking about his purpose this is walking your talk a personal development podcast about leadership authenticity and courage I'm Carolyn Taylor and I've spent my life working with leaders in organizations on how to change their culture

but this is much more personal if you want to be known as someone who walks your talk at work and beyond then this podcast is for you in this next series of our podcast I want to explore with you what it means to be purpose led I'm sure

you all would have read as I have or even discovered for yourself that people who are entering the workforce now this next generation want much more than job they want meaningful work they want a purpose they want something that will lift and guide them beyond the pay packet

because I come from the previous generation I kind of smile when I hear that because I do believe that I've always been Purpose Driven and not because some employer provided that for me but because I think I find it for myself and that experience has been very useful

now because there are more and more leaders that I find I'm talking to who want to understand what it actually means to be Purpose Driven now as is my wantin if you listen to this podcast regularly you will know that that I want to propose that if you're

gonna use purpose powerfully in any sort of organizational or team setting you've got to first understand and live that at a personal level because what I find is that some work that's done on purpose is is really quite superficial and it's really comes out as being the same

as a mission or the same as a goal even well as I think to be truly purpose led you're operating at a another level and that's what I want to explore in these podcasts so when I say I found it for myself it wasn't like I sat down

on one bright shiny day early in my life and kind of went okay this is gonna be the purpose of our life but I think gradually over time it became clearer and clearer and so in order to share with you what I think it means to be Purpose

Driven I've decided I think I'm going to reflect on what it meant for me and therefore how it could be valuable for you so starting this first episode by giving you my personal story what I think my purpose has become and how I got there and how it

has shape the various things that I have done in my life and then the later episodes will dissect that a bit more and look at what might that mean for you on a personal level and then what can it mean on a team or an organizational level I

do agree that having a sense of purpose is motivating I've certainly found that it is I find it's given me courage where perhaps otherwise I might have lacked it and I think it's given me determination where I otherwise might have given up it certainly helped me to achieve

more and to become less distracted and whilst everyone has to find their own purpose and consequently each purpose I think is unique I have found that being purposeful myself has helped me to engage others to join me in building and achieving some great things together because in pursuing

my purpose I've often been able to create a space where others could also pursue their own and there was a kind of emerging together of what they wanted from things and what I wanted from things well we molded together into a group and for a while then formed

an organization and contributed to something together so I do believe that becoming increasingly Purpose Driven is a worthy pursuit like I said I didn't sit down early in my life and make a decision about what my purpose should or would be maybe some people do that maybe some

people wake up as a teenager and know right from that stage but it has become clearer probably because I've done a lot of observing about the patterns of what I've done in my life and particularly the patterns of the things that have had the most impact on me

particularly positively and the most impact on other people so I've always had a passion for personal growth which came from you know I became involved in the personal growth movement that it was then called very early on and then it became an industry and therefore then became always

the source of my income so personal growth has always been one of the car threads that have run through my life and I love the experience of watching myself grow of going through the challenges of learning from something difficult of attending seminars and finding teachers and unpeeling layers

of what makes us tick and what makes me tick and seeing patterns and cause and effect and so that was always going to be something I think as a part of my purpose very young I also discovered that I was good at making things practical understandable the creating

structure and form and turning ideas into action and I find it easy to think big and to pursue dreams and visions and being willing to try things and be different and be a pioneer so if I look back on my early work and my interests and my pursuits

I can see a pattern that was forming which I was eventually able to articulate into a purpose which has been kind of with me now from a long time which was that what my purpose is is to build stages or structures on which others could shine and grow

so let me unpack that a little bit and show you what I mean by a purpose wherever I've lived in the world and whatever job I had or stage of my career I was at it was the building of those structures within which other people then thrived which

has become the unifying factor that's the pattern that's repeated itself so twice for example the structure was an organization you know I've started an organization a consulting organization and the organization became the stage on which or through which we were able to hire lots of people lots of

other consultants and they were able to grow then many times I've taken concepts thinking that I've heard swirling around amongst people I've met or things that I've read and then using my very sort of practical nature created simple models or structures that made it easier I think for

other people to apply it in their lives so my book walking the talk for example there's an example of how I did that for the concept of changing corporate culture and the feedback I always get about it is it's the most practical it suddenly makes it doable so

I think making things doable has always been a part of what I'm good at and this podcast for example is it is me trying to show how you can take a value like empowerment or customer centricity and apply it for you personally so again creating a structure through

a podcast through concepts that then other people can pick up and do something with really early in my career I actually sat and watched someone who was an absolute master seminar leader but was completely incapable of explaining to any of us how he did what he did and

what I was able to do was to observe the patterns of his craft and turn it into this training manual that we then used to train a large group of other facilitators who could then sort of master the same skills and from that we were able to expand

the organization and it was very exciting because this guy had been the kind of the bottleneck before so there's some examples couple of eggs are examples is that often I've been able to engage with CEO or very senior executive in the vision of how you could change culture

and then turn this into a structured big project and sell that project to the organization and then there would have been hundreds of people both inside the client organization as well as inside our consulting firm that I ran who were able to shine and grow through that structure

that stage that I had been able to pull out of the ether and create and turn into a project and have other people buy into and then if I think about building my family and seeing my children and and all their friends and everyone who sort of associated

with our family in some way I feel in some way I've played some role of being the holder of the structure that then became our family so all of those are examples which led me to conclude that my unique purpose or my role was to create this stage

this structure through which this could happen and all these other people could get involved and shine and thrive and grow and do all these great things now I'm clear I think about my own purpose and I was earlier in my life I do think I've been able to

become too much more quickly focus on that role and to find different opportunities to do it again and again in different circumstances and it doesn't feel like work so what's so exciting about becoming more and more purpose led is that there are lots of outward manifestations there are

lots of different places where you can play that role so I could play the role in a family I could play the role in different types of organizations I could play the role with a client I could play the role in writing a book but the fundamental purpose

remains very similar and so I think what it's done is it's given me a great deal of satisfaction and obviously passion but it's also I think contributed a great deal to others because I think I've been able to capitalize on what has become in a sense my unique

contribution so let me turn to you now and the exercise for this week so just if you have a chance look back over different phases in your life and you're probably the right age to be doing this now whatever age you are but it's not age 15 in

my experience different jobs different groups of friends different achievements and see if you can start to see patterns in my experience the pattern is going to be a combination of one or two of your particular strengths in my case it was this ability to make things practical or

doable and also my ability to vision big and willingness to to be a bit of a pioneer there's a combination of that but also a passion something which at a values level is really important for you and has been maintained over a long period of time even if

in different forms so for me that's absolutely the the personal growth journey the learning journey and everything that that means and your purpose is going to be a combination of those things it's something that is in many ways uniquely you because it plays to both your strengths and

your passion if you can jot down to yourself just even some of those fragments where you've seen some kind of repetition and see if there is a pattern or thread which links them together and one that feels good for you and that thread or pattern if you pursue

it more consciously may well become your purpose not in some kind of heavy this is what I have to do but more you know this is where I belong this is my sweet spot in all the forms it may take this is my sweets but this is where

I'm going to make the biggest contribution to others the biggest ding in the universe as Steve Jobs would say so next week what I want to do is to then explore further with you what you can then do as you become more Purpose Driven and how it might

shape or change your decisions you make and how you can then start thinking about enrolling others and finding their purpose in such a way that you can together do something more extraordinary so hope you've got some insight out of hearing my own story and I look forward to

taking this theme further with you and we'll see where we can go with being purpose led thank you very much and I'll see you next week [Music]

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