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Purpose Matters

When planning a program, campaign, or event,
it’s good practice to start with the purpose.

What are you trying to do?
Win a project?
Share expertise?
Position for an upcoming project with a successful case study?
Meet new people?
Get a referral?
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To stay on track, I start every project with a purpose statement to help me stay focused. Sometimes it’s a controlling idea for content, or sometimes it’s a set of learning objectives for a training session. I find it easier to get to where I’m going when I have helpful navigation points.

As I reflect on the year ahead, where is my needle pointing? What will guide my journey, and what will help me stay focused so I don’t stray off the path? What insights will help prepare me for 2023?


“Your Purpose is not the thing you do, it’s the thing that happens in others when you do what you do.” - Jade Simmons

I love this. I heard Jade speak recently on a podcast. I have heard her statement a few times, and this time it stuck. Like it stuck with permanent, aircraft-grade, indestructible glue.

She mentioned finding the verb; that is the part about what happens in others when you do what you do.

I actually have an Action Verb list (one of the tools in my writing toolbox), and I pulled it out. I’m working hard to identify what happens to others when I do what I do. These stood out:

      • Activate
      • Articulate
      • Attain
      • Balance
      • Change
      • Collect
      • Communicate
      • Create
      • Develop
      • Earn
      • Expand
      • Explore
      • Improve
      • Increase
      • Locate
      • Master
      • Motivate
      • Perform
      • Shape
      • Solve
      • Stimulate
      • Succeed


My purpose—your purpose—will reveal itself when we are open to evaluating what’s working, what’s not working, and what we’re willing to do to stay on track. Purpose comes in all shapes and sizes, from the purpose of a program to a career purpose to a life purpose.

The most important point is to slow down, become more aware, and let go of preconceived notions of job description, career path, or “I should be” thoughts.

Purpose. Ponder it. Play with it. Pronounce it.

Let me know what you discover. I’m here to listen, reflect, and help.

Leadership sometimes seems like the pinnacle of success. Experienced climbers know the trail isn’t always straight and sometimes there are false summits that slow down the trip. Instead of focused on the end, using a “Learn | Do | Master | Teach” approach sets professionals up for all types of experiences that build their leadership skills and insights.