Purpose Drives Impact
All of that, I think, needs to be in the context of what are you doing in your job today, and not just what are you busy with, but what are you actually doing beyond the administrative piece of what you're doing all the time. It's sort of like a think of this as the doing with the capital D, not the doing with the lowercase D. So, for this client I mentioned before, the doing of her job every day is being the person running board meetings, setting agendas for folks, doing, attending events, doing all of that, writing her strategy out and sending them for circulation with her CEO, et cetera. But what she's really doing is helping the organization challenge their own status quo. At every moment, she's wondering is that in here? Is that in here in a way that can be digested? Am I speaking in alignment with who I am, but also aimed at what the organization is here to do? So, the big D of what it is that you're doing, not necessarily the little D of what you're doing, not the busy part of w...
hat you're doing is what we're gonna be paying attention to today. So, my hope, too, is that you embrace this idea of speaking from your purpose platform as a way of leading and you invest in that as a thing to pay attention to and stay current on for yourself over the trajectory of your career. So, I have other stories that I'd like to share around this very thing, so let's jump into your purpose platform here. So, when we think about communicating from your purpose platform, we are talking about leading in this way and prioritizing it, like I mentioned, as a thing to pay attention to and develop in yourself over time. So, okay, two other quick examples of where this actually showed up and served a client in a context where they had a choice whether to communicate very tactically and transactionally or to communicate from a place of purpose. Two stories. This first one is from The Clarity Maker, somebody I want to call The Clarity Maker. I was having a... This was actually happened last year. I had this client who, fantastic. His role was actually as a culture maker, and we got in. He called me to help him put together a keynote. It was sort of the first time he was coming out to the world to share his methodology, how he's been able to be successful doing culture building across multiple organizations that he's worked in and really help young talent in his same business be more deft at that job. And he, in our sessions, it become... He started out very very business-speaky, you know? And I could tell very quickly that oh, I think he's not sure what to hold on to. Do I do it the way I'm supposed to do it? Do I talk about the way the industry talks about it? Or do I talk about my little secrets are actually what I do that I don't tell people about that helps me be successful because they're sort of unofficial, maybe. Turns out we stopped the coaching session, I went wait a second, why are you really here? What do you really do? And in our conversation, the big doing that he does is borrow from his military training, actually, a concept that he called taking the hill. Taking the hill, the idea of we have to identify very quickly which hill it is that we are trying to take and then let everyone in my team figure out how to take it. So, he realized over time that the... No matter if he's having a one on one conversation with his CEO or if he's facilitating a strategy session with his own team or he's working on larger projects, his job over and over again was to help the room, help his company, help his organization, help his strategy identify which hill is it that we're taking to help us get super clear on that. That was his role in every single conversation regardless of the content. And he said over and over again, I try not do it, but it seems like it always is a need and I end up doing it over and over again, and it's served me and it's served my teams and it's been really crucial to the way I've, to the how I've been able to be successful. It's sort of his purpose in the world is to help everyone, when they're spinning, remember wait, which hill is it that we're trying to take? And then use their creative minds to figure out how to do that themselves. So, he... This became the platform of his entire 50 minute talk at an industry conference. We didn't call it Clarity Maker, but that was really his role. That was... He understood that oh, no, this is actually the purpose I serve in every place I go. One example. Now, once he got that, once it got super clear to him, and understand that this happened over a course of weeks, so we identified this and then he wore it around for a while. Is this right? Does it work, is it resonant? Let me test this a little bit, and every time we came back for coaching sessions it was like yes, this is working for me, this feels right, I wanna build my crucial communications moment, my keynote, around this idea of this is how I've... This is actually the mechanism by which I've been successful. So, it served him, and once he committed to that, the way he showed up and how he shared his life's work, his body of work, was so much more courageous and so much more fun to listen to, I'll tell you that. That's another piece of it, so much more fun to listen to. Another example, this one's a little bit softer because the range of what it means to have a purpose platform, in my mind, is really big. If it works for you, that's what matters because then you know what you're standing on. If it doesn't work for you, you're gonna have a hard time wrapping your brain around it. So, the doctor. This is probably, I feel like... My son's 11, so it was probably eight years ago. I was at a private rehearsal room and for a very large, very large annual event, and it was an event in which the UN Delegation showed up every other year. This was one of the years that the UN Delegation was gonna show up, and I was in my private rehearsal room. Sometimes coaching, to me, means I sit in a private rehearsal room and somebody new comes through the door every hour who knows that they have to get on stage soon. And hi and how are you and nice to meet you and let's work together for an hour. And this client came middle of the day. He was going to be giving an acceptance speech for getting a very important award for his work, his humanitarian work. The work that he did was creating a revolutionary model for a hospital and recovery center that addressed and repaired women and girls who were victims of institutional sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He built a hospital that both sewed up their bodies and then, in their recovery time, gave them a village to live in with psychosocial support so they could sew up their hearts because he knew that a big piece of systemic change came from sending women and girls back into their homes as whole people, not shells of themselves. So, yeah, big work, this is the stuff. Sometimes the work that my clients do makes me... You know, I have to take a vacation when I'm done because it's a lot. So, this man came into my session and he was just this big, beautiful gentleman with this deep French Congo accent, and he was charismatic like you cannot believe. Before he even opened his mouth, I felt really this big around him. So, I dug pretty deep to find the courage I needed to ask the questions to help him be courageous in front of the room, as my coaching is only as good as I'm willing to be courageous. And it just hit me in this moment. We had a teleprompter there and his remarks were already written and a lot of the details were already tucked in, so I had to ask something that was gonna add value, and I could see him being a little bit sort of nervous, charismatic and nervous, quietly nervous. And I asked him what is the thing that you're most concerned about at this really crucial moment? Because he wanted to take this audience and turn their attention toward the problems that he was trying to address. He wanted to prioritize it in their mind, right? It wasn't just thank you very much. How do I give a good performance in my acceptance speech? He really wanted to have the room elevate in their minds the priority of dealing with the issues that he addresses all the time. It was a great opportunity to have impact in the room. He said, you know, what I'm most afraid of is that I will actually cry while I'm on stage as I'm giving my remarks, and of course I was like if there's any place to cry, this is the place to do it (laughs). It's okay. So in that moment, recognizing that his... Giving himself permission to open his heart in the room when he was giving this acceptance speech helped him actually be more courageous in doing it. And he just said okay, I'm gonna stand in my open heart, and really, his purpose platform is to walk the world and let his heart get broken 'cause his heart got broken every day in the work that he did, but his open heart was sort of the thing that let him see not just how do we stitch these women back up so they don't have scars, it was about letting himself be exposed to their whole self, their whole story, and really address the wholeness of what they were working on. And that wasn't possible, I think, if he just took a clinical and transactional relationship to the work that he did. So, in doing that, recognize that the way he was successful of building this new model that others hadn't done was that he opened his heart to something otherwise he would've stayed clinical about. And to bring that to his acceptance speech took it from being a transactional conversation with the room to being something different. I'll just tell you that the room was... He broke the room up, it was fantastic. He did break their hearts, but they loved it. We all loved it, we wanted to be with him in that moment. So, his purpose platform is let my heart be broken. My role in life is to be open enough to have my heart be broken so I can see new ways of fixing things. It's very different than the business leader who says okay, my role in the world, my purpose, is to be a clarity maker for the people that I work with. Help them know out of the 10 hills we're gonna take, which one are we really trying to take right now so that they can be creative and focused in that way. So, you have permission to create a purpose platform that makes sense to you that you can then bring to your business work and lace together so that people can sense you different in the room.