How do you feel about the word purpose?
Does it light you up, make you feel aligned and on fire to make a difference?
Or does it leave you feeling a little disconnected and wanting to change the subject?
For me, I’ve always been in the latter camp.
I’ve always understood the need for clarifying purpose in a directional sense. Who are we as an individual or collective, where we’re going and how we get there in a way that aligns.
After that point, to be honest, my skin starts to crawl a little.
That’s usually the point where it starts getting into grand statements. Big decisive yet also vague commitments about ‘helping people’ or ‘making the world a better place’. Bizarre pictures of happy people and animals holding hands. You get the picture.
Which is weird, because I’ve spent my whole career building ideas, influencers, movements and brands to drive a specific conversation. A specific purpose.
So I’ve never been able to figure out why I found the whole topic so uncomfortable.
That is until I came across my guest today.
Thomas Kolster is an adviser to Fortune 500 companies, author of two best selling books, TED speaker and frequenter of more media appearances than I can list. His first book ‘Goodvertising – Creating advertising that cares’ created a movement that looked at how purpose can be used to unlock the world-bettering power of brands.
However it’s his second and most recent book that caught my attention.
It’s called ‘The Hero Trap – how to win in a post-purpose market by putting people first’.
In this book he literally takes a hatchet to his earlier beliefs. Now, other than just being a big fan of anyone that can publicly, unapologetically and enthusiastically change their mind. It was one of the very first lines that had me hooked.
“Screw your purpose, who can you help me become?”
It’s that last question ‘Who can you help me become?’ That’s the backbone of our entire conversation today.
Linked In- https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomaskolster/
- The Hero Trap, what it is, how we get caught in it and why the alternative is to shift our focus from purpose to enabling transformation.
- Why 65% of people say they want to buy from purposeful companies – yet only 26% actually do – and what that tells us about the white noise that the subject has become.
- How to design your transformative promise. Think of a mission statement – and then make it practical and accountable.
- The surprising fact, that people are willing to pay a premium price for a do-it-yourself journey, especially if it has a deadline.
- How to stop focusing on removing the barriers that stop us from purchasing – and start removing the barriers that stop us from becoming who we want to be.
References and links mentioned
- Thomas would like to offer listeners a $80 discount on his Masterclass. Simply head to https://www.thomaskolster.com/masterclass and use Code 50 at check out.
- The Hero Trap Audiobook- https://bit.ly/hero-trap-audiobk
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