What is your life’s purpose?
My passion and purpose is to energize and equip experienced leaders to use their wisdom and insight to prepare the next generation of leaders for their roles.
How are you living your purpose?
The myriad of negative stereotypes that people use to describe the millennial generation is staggering. I see people jumping on the bandwagon, eagerly joining the chorus to spread the message that this is a hopeless generation. The reality, however, is that the star performers responsible for the growth of our businesses, will, in a few short years, be primarily made up of Millennials. That’s why improving our ability to hire, engage, and retain emerging leaders needs to be a top priority for leaders committed to maximizing results.
Leaders build leaders. I am committed to turn the negative stereotypes around. My research on how to do this culminated in the writing of my book, Millennials Matter: Proven Strategies for Building Your Next-Gen Leader. I’m still actively spreading the message through the Millennials Matter movement. Our mantra, “Stop complaining and start coaching!” is a call to all seasoned leaders who have millennials in their sphere of influence.
How did you find your purpose?
Seemingly unrelated, disconnected events happen over the course of our lives. Then one day you wake up and realize: All those events were leading up to now. It’s the moment where God merges your years of talents, skills, experiences, and wisdom for a greater purpose.
A few years ago, my son attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Conference. He called and relayed events in his upbeat, enthusiastic, but somewhat disconnected way. Suddenly, in mid-sentence, he stopped. “Mom, I have a message for you.” His voice shifted gears. It had gravitas, intent, and total focus. “Mom. You must prioritize passing on your leadership wisdom and insights to the next generation.”
The words, coming from my 23-year-old, happy-go-lucky son, struck right to my core. I recognized this was an important sign and said to myself, “I need you to pay attention to this.”
In the days that followed, my son’s words kept running around in my mind. My three children fell within the definition of millennial, but I wasn’t sure I was in touch with their worlds. And I certainly didn’t have experience mentoring young adults to be world changers. Yet I was being challenged to undertake this additional calling: the development of young, character-based business and sales leaders, so that they could become world-changers.
That moment marked a turn in my life’s direction. I started to blog about the business challenges leaders experience in working with Millennials. Over time, that blog series evolved to become the book Millennials Matter.
What advice do you have for purpose seekers?
First, the insights about finding our purpose that my friend, Jeff Pelletier, shared during our interview for Millennials Matter, really resonates with me. Jeff, who is the CEO of Life’s Core Purpose, believes it is important to ask these two questions:
- Is there something that I am really great at all the time?
- Is there something that I care deeply about all the time?
The hypothesis is that when we apply what we do well to what we care about deeply, our performance in life and work will grow exponentially.
Second, my advice to purpose seekers is, you don’t have to search for your purpose. It will find you. You just need to be sensitive to recognize the moment when you are called to your purpose, and then to be willing to answer the call. Whenever I need encouragement to stay on track with living my purpose, I read a poem that I wrote when I was much younger. (I believe the words were inspired by God.)
I am calling you,
I am anointing you,
I am setting you apart for a divine purpose.
Rise up and walk in it.
Turn your back on how you’ve done it before.
Behold, I am making all things new.
I am opening new vistas and opportunities.
Walk in confidence.
What resources do you recommend?
Build A Better Life: Practical Tools and Strategies to Develop and Lead Your Life and Business the Way Jesus Would by Brandon Schaefer
Win at Home First: An Inspirational Guide to Work-Life Balance by Cory Carlson
Marriage on Mission: How strengthening your marriage multiplies your missional impactby Tom Blaylock
The Making of a Leader: Recognizing the Lessons and Stages of Leadership Developmentby Robert Clinton
A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix by Edwin H. Friedman