Purpose Moment

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Purpose Moment

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Purpose Shared: Igniting a Purpose Revolution

Photo Credit: Daniel Scotton

Photo Credit: Daniel Scotton

"There are good companies out there, and a lot of work needs to be done by companies to tell their authentic story and build a firm relationship with customers based on who the company is..."

I first got to know John Izzo in a tent on safari in Tanzania. Our 3-week journey led us to one of the last hunter-gatherer tribes in Africa. Our leader was none other than our mutual mentor, Richard Leider, the "Pope of Purpose." John had already established himself as a global leadership author, speaker, and consultant. Little did I know that 11 years later CPL and John would be joining Richard in a global purpose movement, and John would write a defining book called The Purpose Revolution.  - Craig

The Purpose Gap

Dr. John Izzo


What is the Purpose Gap? It is both an opportunity and threat in the business world today. It exists because there a distinct difference between what people desire and hope for, and what is actually being delivered by businesses and organizations. Today a purpose gap exists for both employees and customers.

Seventy seven percent of employees say there is matters a great deal to work for a company they believe in and a job where they have a sense of purpose. Fifty percent of Millennials would take a pay cut to work for the right company, and almost forty percent cite purpose as the main driver of their engagement and retention at work. Yet the vast majority of people, 75%, say that they don’t work for this type of company- that the company they work for mostly cares about profit and its own self-interest. Therein lies the purpose gap for employees.

Customers around the world are asking for more purpose than companies are delivering. Eighty percent of customers globally want to buy from companies that they believe are doing a good job in the world. Yet they feel confident that only 6% of the companies they do business with are actually good. In other words, they have a deep desire to buy good, but have no idea if the companies that serve them are good or not.  There are good companies out there, and a lot of work needs to be done by companies to tell their authentic story and build a firm relationship with customers based on who the company is, and what positive good it achieves.

My co-author Jeff Vanderwielen and I talk in The Purpose Revolution about how companies who close the purpose gap are going to

be the real winners. As employees and customers, we want more. The companies who listen and really deliver are going to be the ones we choose to work for and buy from. The Purpose Revolution is here. Are you ready?

Watch my Izzo on Purpose video to find out more about The Purpose Gap.

More here: https://drjohnizzo.com/purpose-blog/purpose-revolution/the-purpose-gap/

Crossing Paths with Margaret Wheatley

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Purpose Fellow, Margaret Wheatley

by Craig Neal

On Tuesday, I attended an amazing gathering with Margaret Wheatley and Barbara McAfee. Meg is a catalyst of new thought and profound action; Barbara is a cross-pollinator and joy-bringer. 

Patricia and I created a traveling conversation with Meg back in 2002 and 2003 to support her newest book and its powerful premise that we are all change-makers. Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future. On Tuesday, Meg spoke to her latest book: Who Do We Choose To Be? Facing Reality | Claiming Leadership | Restoring Sanity

Meg: “When Turning to One Anotherwas first published in 2002, I made a rash statement:


‘I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again.’ I still believe this. I still believe that if we turn to one another, if we begin talking with each other – especially with those we call stranger or enemy – then this world can reverse its darkening direction and change for the good. And I know with all my heart that the only way the world will change is if many more of us step forward, let go of our judgments, become curious about each other, and take the risk to begin a conversation.”

A poem by Meg that has been shared many times in our Art of Convening Training programs:

There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.

Notice what you care about.

Assume that many others share your dreams.

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.

Talk to people you know.

Talk to people you don’t know.

Talk to people you never talk to.

Be intrigued by the differences you hear.

Expect to be surprised.

Treasure curiosity more than certainty.

Invite in everybody who cares to work on what’s possible.

Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.

Know that creative solutions come from new connections.

Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.

Real listening always brings people closer together.

Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.

Rely on human goodness. Stay together.

Thank you, Meg and Barbara, for a great gathering and even better conversation. Conversation and engagement with one another creates a community of purpose and provides a way to grow with one another. Take advantage of this weekend and engage with those around you! 

Purpose Moment


#PurposefulLeadership #Purpose #Leadership #Convening #ArtofConvening #Connectivity #CommitmenttoAction

2017 Center for Purposeful LeadershipThe Art of Convening

Purpose Moment


#PurposefulLeadership #Purpose #Leadership #Convening #ArtofConvening #AuthenticEngagement

2017 Center for Purposeful LeadershipThe Art of Convening

Message from Houston: Navigating the Road to Renewal

photo credit: daniel scotton

photo credit: daniel scotton

"The capacity to renew is an essential strength. Both women and men need renewal and resilience."

Today's guest blogger is Kim Kristenson-Lee, CPL Team Member, who, as a resident of Houston, TX, is drawing on her resilience reserves!

With over twenty-five years of experience in increasingly challenging roles at a Fortune Five energy company, she brings thought leadership and unique approaches to overcoming difficult situations and changing times.

We are delighted she is part of the team for CPL's program When Women Lead. Here are her insights in a recent essay:

Navigating the Road to Renewal

Resilience for Women Through Purpose and Practice

Are you seeking renewal, in your life or work? Wanting more resilience? Perhaps you are being pulled by possibility, or perhaps you are being pushed by pain. How will you navigate your way forward?

The capacity to renew is an essential strength. Both women and men need renewal and resilience. Women may find they need more access to resilience than men. Women more frequently must confront conflicting roles at home and at work, and overcome unique obstacles in the business world. It is important to become aware of the great amount of resilience you already possess, as well as learning how to expand resilience. 

It Begins with Finding Your Own Authority

In our 24-7, e-enabled, and consumer-oriented culture, at least three areas demand that we learn and apply our own authority:

  1. Defining purposeful use of our time and energy
  2. Managing our energy expenditure
  3. Finding communities that renew us

These are all life elements that avoid burnout. But no one is going to require you to renew. You must make your own commitment, chart your path, and take your journey.

  1. Purposeful Use of Energy – Where Goes Your Attention?

At the heart of the matter is purpose. A clear purpose guides wise use of your energy. Richard Leider, founder of The Purpose Company, identifies two universal purposes each of us can utilize: to grow and to give.  Where are you going to grow today?  Where are you going to give?  “Save the world AND savor the world”, he advises. 

What questions now focus your energy and attention? What percentage of your attention goes to “why” questions (purpose based question about what matters most each day) versus “what and how” questions (activity based questions about what you feel compelled to do). Both are worthy. However, a daily pause to focus on the “why” questions is a cornerstone practice of self-renewal. 

  1. Managing Our Energy – A Paradox

You might think avoiding stress is a good thing to manage energy. Not true! We grow our capacities by stretching them. With great challenges, great growth is achieved.  Like any athlete, full engagement of our entire being is an important aspect of training. 

However, what differentiates a “self-renewer” from a “burnout”, is also placing a specific emphasis on downtime.  Deep rest and disengagement between challenges is essential.  Stretch and stress.  Rest and regenerate.  Repeat. 

It is essential to carve out undisturbed rest time on a regular basis, and that may mean letting go of other perfectly worthy things on the “to do” list. 

Your calendar is a great aid. Go to it and make a regular habit of booking downtime, with in-depth rest along a regular timeline that works for you. Do you have a day retreat in view?  How will you master cycles of both stress and downtime in your day, week, month or year?  With practice, you will learn the cadence.

  1. Finding Communities that Renew Us
Photo credit: pexels.com

Photo credit: pexels.com

I live in a suburb of Houston, Texas. We just survived Hurricane Harvey. Humanity has taken a hit. Friends have lost their homes. It is a disruptive time. But, the storm gives each of us an opportunity to inquire, with fresh eyes. “Is there some way to take this hit as a gift?” In other words, what can we learn?

One of the most touching aspects of the hurricane has been the way people drew together in community, to assist one another. Both neighbors and strangers formed new bonds. I was reminded of the importance of community. We can find, build and sustain communities that encourage rebuilding internally as well as externally, and we don’t need to wait for the storm to awaken the need. 

A community can be as small as two people. Purpose-based teams or groups, that meet on some regular basis, can support renewal in any or all areas of your being - Mind (reading, writing, discussion, critical thinking); body (relaxation, exercise, time outdoors, mindful eating); heart (authentic communication skills, staying current with yourself and others) or soul (uncovering a set of values that have meaning for you). 

Whatever your current priorities, engage with one or more others who share common aims. Find some regular basis to do so. This is one of the most significant hallmarks of women on the road to renewal. Nothing succeeds like resilience. 

Kim Kristenson-Lee, September 2017

#renewal #resilience #resiliency #purpose #purposefulleadership #practice #energy #leadership #transformation #attheheartofthematter #learning #thoughtleadership

Purpose Moment


#PurposefulLeadership #Purpose #Leadership #Convening #ArtofConvening #RichardLeider

2017 Center for Purposeful LeadershipThe Art of Convening

Leading into Culture Change

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

Photo Credit: Craig Neal

"The key to creating purposeful and lasting relationships is to design the conditions for authentic engagement and trusted connections."

21 years ago CPL (Center for Purposeful Leadership), formerly Heartland, embarked on an experiment to create convening communities and professional leadership environments to consider what was needed to deal with a rapidly changing world. We came to learn that leadership is always an inside game, so each session or meeting integrated personal and professional growth, centered on the power of essential conversation.

The power of essential conversation. With the rise of social media and events around the world, people are making their voices heard. Whether that is through yelling or peaceful conversations, situations can take a wrong turn. However, there are simple practical ways to create environments that support empathy and understanding in even the most toxic situations. CPL harnessed the wisdom of years of listening and learning about how to create safe and generative spaces for the sake of authentic engagement and the highest possible outcome of the group. We developed The Art of Convening methodology as the recipe for these engagements.


Harnessing the wisdom of the group. For 18 years we convened leadership events with their sole purpose being the creation of a powerful conversation in support of leaders navigating an unknown future. We learned about the purpose of a format built around leadership stories that invoked principles, ethics, and new ideas. We combined these stories with convening practices such as principles of conversation, in-depth Inquiry, active listening and reflection to create an environment to harness the wisdom of the group.

Purposeful and lasting relationships with accountability and trust. The key to creating purposeful and lasting relationships is to design the conditions for authentic engagement and trusted connections. This can occur when the container is set for essential conversation.

The words below reflect the power of purposeful relationships:

"Our organization needed a rapid culture shift and reached out to CPL to help. Twelve of our global leaders engaged in the Art of Convening virtual training enabling them to participate from locations around the world. The seven sessions of teaching, collaborating, and presenting case studies were powerfully engaging, with full and enthusiastic participation. Outcomes include meetings that became more inclusive and collaborative, leading to efficiencies in delivering stated meeting outcomes, cross-functional relationships and renewed alignment to the organization's vision."

-President, Global service organization

At CPL, we are here to help you pave the way towards productive collaboration and purposeful leadership in yourself and organization. Follow us on our LinkedIn page and subscribe to our blog to receive more information on transforming your organization. 

Purpose Moment


cfpl-logo-trans (1).png

Purpose Moment

Purpose Moment


A Purpose Moment


A Purpose Moment


A Purpose Moment

A Purpose Moment


A Purpose Moment

Interview with President of CPL, Patricia Neal, on Leadership

photo credit: AtomikPhotography

photo credit: AtomikPhotography

"I am fascinated by inflection points that are the beginning of a new trend. Looking into the future, what are some trends on the horizon?"

Interviewing Patricia Neal on Leadership

Edited by Rachel Harris and Sarah Flores

CPL had an opportunity to sit down with Patricia Neal, President of the woman-owned Center for Purposeful Leadership (CPL), formerly Heartland Group. Patricia has been coaching and training executives and thought leaders into transformational outcomes for 12 years. She guides leaders in uncovering their authentic leadership and becoming powerfully vulnerable in presenting their transformational journey in a public forum. Leaders who work with Patricia boost their capacity to relate to others, enhance effectiveness for team management and wow audiences with newfound presentation skills. Currently, Patricia is updating her skills via a Conversational Intelligence® for Coaches and Coaching for ROI trainings. Insight into her extensive network and thought leadership can be found at http://centerfpl.blogs.com/

Check out our interview with President of CPL, Patricia Neal, below:

CPL: I understand CPL celebrated its 20th Anniversary with a conference last year. Reflecting on your own business success, who has inspired your leadership?

PN: My husband and partner, of course! Rachel Harris, really runs the place, as she steps forward in her leadership. Our CPL team--fantastic leaders to work with and be inspired by. Then there is Kiki the wonder cat…

I am inspired by leaders who pay attention to whole systems and whole people. Meaning, they hire for the person as a contributor to the whole picture, not just a set of skills. They are contributors to those around them and their communities outside of work. You can tell they are values-driven, inspired-by-life people.

I won't try to list names specifically, because the list numbers in the thousands. I am constantly inspired by the people whose lives intersect with mine.

CPL: As President of a woman-owned business, your to-do list and inboxes are often overflowing. When you have moments to read, what captures your attention these days?

PN: I have a large network of friends and colleagues whom I track because I consider them to be leading-edge thinkers. I watch what they watch. Forbes and HBR regularly catch my eye, but leadership shows up in many non-business settings, so I subscribe to a breadth of online news sources to broaden my perspective. I am fascinated by inflection points that are the beginning of a new trend.

CPL: After 12 years of coaching leaders into their authentic voice, you have worked with some of the brightest minds in the Twin Cities and Bay Area. You have developed a thought leadership following. Looking into the future, what are some trends on the horizon?

PN: Whole-brain, whole-heart leadership: leading to new ways to engage and collaborate for satisfaction and success. Purposeful leadership: Recent research shows that a sense of purpose, not a specific set of characteristics, is the key to successful leadership. Creating thriving cultures: Culture is how people express and define themselves within an organization. Culture defines what is measured. What is measured, matters, but the measurements will change by demand from employees. More than ever, culture will trump strategy. Sustainability: not just of systems and externalities, but of humans inside the systems.

CPL: You are an incredible networker with over 4,000+ connections on LinkedIn. For people starting out in the workplace, what are some of your expert networking tips?

PN: I am voraciously curious about many things. In person, as an introvert, I’ve learned how to take that curiosity and start a conversation. I ask questions. Then, I try to listen, which is crucial.

Online, I follow and connect with people that interest me in their leadership styles and explorations, and I let them know they interest me.

CPL: You recently began running and competing in triathlons. That takes courage! How has courage played a role in your position as company President?

PN:Choosing a big goal does take courage! Acting on it takes even more courage and self-initiative, but I am always looking for ways to challenge myself and grow. It’s easy to do intellectually, but then, 4 years ago I decided to challenge myself physically and entered the YWCA Women’s Sprint Triathlon with 1200 other aspiring women and girls. It creates an annual stretch goal and benchmark. I created my own training plan of little steps that became longer strides. A 1-minute run turned into 5 minutes, then 20, then 3 miles. I grew my biking and swimming skills the same way. Some days I am tired and facing a wall of resistance, but I know I’m not doing it alone. Then the big day comes, the goal is met, the joy is palpable.

Choosing to co-found CPL (then Heartland) 20 years ago took courage. Choosing to step forward as President six years ago took courage. I then realized that learning to run a business is much the same way as training for the triathlon. The big goals get chunked into incremental, doable pieces. But, just like the triathlon, I’m never doing it alone. Collaborating with a great team is key. The team keeps me inspired and on track. We choose to be mutually accountable, which takes courage and perseverance, but brings great joy when we find and rediscover our groove together.  

To see more of Patricia’s leadership work, follow us on our LinkedIn and subscribe to our blog.