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Celebrating our 100th Episode: Insights from Purpose 360 Podcast

By host Carol Cone

I must have heard the question a hundred times: “When are you going to start your own podcast?” Today, as the team behind Purpose 360 celebrates episode number 100, we want to express our gratitude for everyone who asked me when I planned on “finally” starting a podcast.

The truth is, this podcast is not about me. It’s about the 100+ guests I have had the honor and privilege of interviewing over the last (almost) three years. From purpose “giants” like Unilever to startups hoping to disrupt the status quo (for good) Purpose 360 has featured provocative conversations and career-defining insights from some of the smartest people in the field.

Whether you’ve listened to one episode or 100 (or are just now learning about our mighty little show), I hope the insights below inspire YOU to be a purpose-driven leader in your role.

These are some of the favorite things that have been said on Purpose 360.

On finding an authentic purpose:

”The only way for you to adopt a purpose that stands and that sticks over the years is to do something that is authentic to your brand and to your company, matters to your consumers and inspires your employees, and, of course, is aligned to your business.”

Pablo Jimenez, AB InBev | Listen to the episode

“I don’t think organizations make up their purpose. They reveal their purpose. And it’s up to the people in the organization to reveal that purpose and bring it to life.”

Michael Sneed, Johnson & Johnson | Listen to the episode

“We built our social purpose using the three A’s: articulate, assimilate, activate. The first part, articulate, is really about sharpening and identifying that purpose. You cannot be successful if the social purpose that you identify is not truly integrated into your core business strategy. They need to match.”

Jin Montesano, LIXIL | Listen to the episode

On “story-doing,” not just storytelling:

“A purpose without action is just some great words that folks can feel good about. We use purpose as the lens through which we make all of our decisions. We want to have a ripple effect that elevates other individuals and communities, particularly those in need, and raises them in the process.”

Bob Jimenez, Cox Enterprises | Listen to the episode

“How are you going to put actions behind your words, so people have visual and physical evidence of your purpose coming to life, both within the walls of your company and out in the community? Otherwise, purpose just becomes words on a page.”

Atlanta McIlwraith, Timberland | Listen to the episode

“Don’t be afraid to put the purpose-led initiatives head-to-head with your product-led communications and see what’s more effective.”

Kathleen Dunlop, Unilever (Vaseline) | Listen to the episode

“Don’t let your process become your purpose. Remember what your actual purpose is and all the process that you put around it. Be willing to adapt and change, because living it is more important than some process oriented approach.”

Sean Vanderelzen, Lineage Logistics | Listen to the episode

On galvanizing employees (the true purpose champions):

“The heart of business is people. It’s not money. Understanding what motivates people to invest in you, work for you or buy from you is the trick to a successful business. And the fundamental thing that links all of that is trust: Harnessing trust is how successful brands live.”

Paul Lindley, Ella’s Kitchen | Listen to the episode

“When companies take on purpose, it has to be authentic to their core products or services. And if it can’t be core to the product, it must at least be authentic to the people in the company. I don’t think you can achieve real buy-in and long-term support for something unless your people can relate to the cause.”

Heather Nesle, New York Life | Listen to the episode

“Your employees aren’t just employees—they are your ambassadors in the community. If you don’t empower your ambassadors, then you will not have effective programs. Not only is it good for the employee-employer relationship, but you don’t know what they might unearth.”

Henk Campher, Salesforce | Listen to the episode

“As an employer, you need to enable your workforce to fulfill their broader purpose. It does not stop with providing volunteering opportunities. It is about driving a culture. If you’re doing the first step right, which is embedding purpose, you will have more meaningful opportunities to share, you can connect that to what people are doing on a daily basis in their jobs, and they can extend that to the work they do to support their community.”

Balaji Ganapathy, Tata Consultancy Services | Listen to the episode

“The answer is always inside your organization — it's just a matter of giving people the opportunity to listen.”

Kelly McGinnis, Levi Strauss & Co. | Listen to the episode

"To the extent that companies can help their employees find a sense of purpose around their work, and where possible, align their duties or assignments accordingly, so that they're working on things that they feel really jazzed about. It's really quite powerful when you can be doing something and feel like, 'Wow, even if I wasn't paid money, this is what I would want to be doing, because it's so meaningful.'"

Dorie Clark | Listen to the episode

On being bold and taking risks:

“Any time you have a diverse set of people bringing lots of ideas to the table, you’re going to get a better outcome. Understand and pursue your blind spots, because then you get to ask the question: Who can help me address them?”

Damon Jones, Procter & Gamble | Listen to the episode

In order to push the envelope to really advance your organization's dollars in a way that truly impacts the most people in the most meaningful way, you have to swing up. This is not being in a comfortable space. This is not playing it safe. You have to think big.”

Jennifer Brunelle, NRG | Listen to the episode

On leading with a purpose mindset:

“Our vision is not one that will be realized in two to five years. This is something that the C-suite will own for decades. But that doesn’t make it any less valuable today.”

Tony Cervone, General Motors | Listen to the episode

“You need to do what you believe is the right thing for you and your company. In every society, there are dissenting voices, so it really needs to come from the heart and who you are.”

Andy Pharoah, Mars Inc. | Listen to the episode

“My lesson in hindsight is that determination is probably the most undervalued and essential element for success—and that has to come from inside. You’ve got to really believe in the values that you’re leading with.”

Gary Hirschberg, Stonyfield Organic | Listen to the episode

“When the work gets hard or the days get long, remember the joy that is truly this work. Surround yourself with a great team. Be patient with people. Meet them where they are. Help them move forward. And finally, be gentle with yourself, because when there are bumps in the road, you need to be able to be resilient, recover, and get back at this very important work that has so much impact on people and communities.”

Reba Dominski, US Bank | Listen to the episode

On what lies ahead for business + purpose:

“It’s a myth that looking after more of your stakeholders and investing in your people, your communities, and the environment must come out of the pockets of shareholders. Increasingly, companies are competing for talent based on their core purpose. They're having to meet the needs of more stakeholders because it makes them better companies and it makes them more competitive.”

Martin Whittaker, JUST Capital | Listen to the episode

“You need insane confidence to think you can feed 200 million people or reverse climate change. But the humility is an acknowledgement that you can't do it on your own, that there's no single panacea solution for any of these issues, and that the greatness of what you achieve will be through the greatness of your teams and the strength of your relationships.”

Daniel Epstein, Unreasonable Group | Listen to the episode

"The future of purpose is that it is going to continue to be just as important, if not more important, to everything we do. The definition of purpose and the expectations around it will continue to be broadened, so I think it's an incredibly relevant thing for everyone to be thinking about."

Michelle Parmelee, Deloitte | Listen to the episode

“We have a planet in peril. We are making ourselves sicker. But business is the most powerful force on the planet. It has the greatest power to concentrate resources to do good.”

Gary Hirschberg, Stonyfield Organic | Listen to the episode

To catch up on Purpose 360 episodes or learn more about the show, visit our website here and download our eBook here.


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