Tuesday, May 21, 2019

"The Purpose Path" by Nicholas Pearce - A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life's Work

There is a very healthy trend building that encourages and empowers individuals and businesses to closely examine their purpose. Simon Sinek's bestseller "Start With Why" comes at the topic of Purpose by addressing the most important question that individuals and organizations should ask themselves. Nick Craig contributed mightily with last year's "Leading From Purpose."

White Rhino Report Review of "Leading from Purpose

Pastor Rick Warren was impactful in addressing the issue from a Christian perspective in his landmark book, "The Purpose Driven Life." Nicholas Pearce continues in the same spiritual vein with his new book, "The Purpose Path - A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life's Work.."

Pearce has managed to braid together three vocational strands. He is a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a pastor, and life coach. He looks at the topic of his book through all three of these lenses. The core tenet of this helpful book can be found here: "According to a study conducted by the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, the number one source of professional contentment is having a sense of purpose." (pp,138-9). Through nine chapters, Pearce leads the reader through an examination of how to achieve and to exercise what he calls "Vocational Courage" - the willingness to make career choices based on values and a sense of God's calling.

He offers many helpful examples of individuals who have walked that path, many of whom were students of Pearce whose courage inspired him. Among those singled out as examples of Vocational Courage was Max De Pree, former Chairman of the Board of the Herman Miler company. Through his leadership, teaching, writing, and speaking, De Pree was a paragon of the kind of Servant Leadership that flows when one is leading through Purpose and Calling. I had the privilege of sitting under De Pree's teaching when I was a graduate student, so I can attest to how inspiring is the brand of leadership that Pearce espouses and De Pree incarnated.

Near the end of the book, the author shares the pilgrimage of the founders of Ben & Jerry's as they struggled to find their calling in Burlington, Vermont. After several failed attempts, they settled on making ice cream as an affordable idea for a start-up, and found ways to weave their values into the fabric of the company. Pearce strongly suggests that one way for a company to accomplish a similar result in creating a Purpose driven organization is to incorporate Purpose oriented questions during the interview and screening processes for potential employees.

Professor Pearce's thoughts, as shared in this book, are a welcome addition to the growing conversation about the vital role that Purpose should play in the life of a healthy and happy individual and organization.


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