Purpose: The Beginning

It was Thanksgiving 2006, and we were preparing to indulge in a mid-afternoon holiday feast. I was in the kitchen alone with my father, while throughout our house family and friends were talking and enjoying their time together. My dad had just retired from a 60-year broadcasting career that by anyone’s standards was a huge success. Until that day, in the 28+ years he and I worked together, he had never discussed retiring with me. The conversation began like this:

“John, you don’t know what it’s like.”

“What exactly are you talking about?” I asked. 

 “Retirement,” he replied. “You know, I am not even the boss in my own home. Here, your mother is the boss. It’s tough when you suddenly don’t have a place to go to work. I have nobody to talk with about radio anymore.” 

My dad self-actualized through his position of owner and CEO of a radio group. Ever since he was 14 years old, he slept, ate, dreamed, and lived for radio. As in any business, there were ups and downs. However, I cannot remember a time my father didn’t want to get up and go to work. He loved what he did. He had great Purpose.

In retirement, my dad felt lost. He lost his life Purpose.

No matter what I suggested he might consider doing or how he might find some activity he would enjoy, he spent the next 10 years sitting in a chair, dying with dementia with increasing measure each day.

Without Purpose, my father felt he had nothing to live for.

I am not sure finding something that gave him Purpose would have changed those 10 years. But I do think he would have been more determined to fight his disease if he had found a new Purpose.

My father’s circumstances stirred my interest and passion for Purpose.

  • What exactly is Purpose?
  • How do you find it?
  • How do you create Purpose in a company?
  • Does having Purpose make a difference, really?


All are great questions that move me today in my work developing Purposeful Leaders.

The small influence I can have on one leader is like dropping a pebble in a pond. As the ripples go out in an ever-widening circle, Purposeful Leaders influence their companies, their families, their communities, and ultimately the world.

What I do is not just a job.  It is a calling. The way that Purposeful living and leadership have an impact on human beings is remarkable.

There is a spiritual gap in our world today, prompting people to look for deeper meaning. My work is laser-focused on helping to fill that void and add meaning with a dash of Purpose.

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