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    This week’s guest on the Love In Action podcast, Robert (Bob) Quinn, believes that purpose has a positive influence on a company’s financial health and competitiveness. In addition, on a personal level, purpose helps people grow and thrive. Bob is the Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus at Michigan Ross School of Business. A prolific author and revered teacher and speaker, he has published 18 books and has been named one of the top speakers in the world on organizational culture. He is among the top 1% of professors cited in organizational behavior textbooks. His viral Google talk on personal purpose has amassed over 16 million views. Bob joins Marcel Schwantes to talk about his book, The Economics of Higher Purpose: Eight Counterintuitive Steps for Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization, including how to shift from a transaction-oriented to a purpose-oriented mindset.

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    Show Notes

    This episode is proudly sponsored by Ally Business Coaching. Visit them at

    • Bob’s purpose is to inspire positive change. [5:58]
    • Once the central focus switches from external rewards to higher purpose, the workforce transforms from agents into owners. [9:01]
    • Marcel asks, “What difference does higher purpose make in people’s lives?” Bob responds, “To have a higher purpose is to have a calling in life. Your work becomes your purpose. The moment that happens everything changes because you’re now living from intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation, and at that point – Maslow said this years ago – labour becomes love.” [10:21]
    • Purpose-driven people live longer, are less prone to many diseases, have better relationships, and make more money. [11:20]
    • “Purpose-driven organizations have highly engaged workforces, and they make more money,” Bob says. When you pair profit with relationships, it leads to impressive results at work. [12:05]
    • Marcel quotes Bob’s recent blog post, “How an organization responds in a crisis is a function of the culture created prior to the crisis… Those organizations are harvesting their rewards.” Bob gives an example of a company whose culture helped them recover from a crisis.  [16:04]
    • These are extraordinary times, Marcel says. “So we got a global pandemic, economic hardship as a result, and then on top of that throw in racial injustice. And that’s just in the last five months!” Bob comments that it’s the most tumultuous period he has lived through. [19:42]
    • “In a crisis we desperately need a leader to do something,” Bob argues. “The purpose of a leader is to connect people to their purpose; it’s to tie and bind people together in pursuit of a new and better future.” [20:31]
    • Marcel and Bob discuss some counterintuitive steps for creating a purpose-driven organization, as detailed in Bob’s book. [22:39]
    • “Purpose holds us accountable to do hard things, not convenient things,” Bob remarks. “But when we do hard things those are very powerful signals to the culture that it’s changing and moving in a positive direction.” [28:19]
    • Bob explains the role authenticity plays in high-performance organizations. [28:47]
    • Bob’s book lays out the counterintuitive process of connecting people to purpose. [35:34]
    • Bob wants listeners to take away these four questions, which will instantly transform us if we answer them honestly: 
      • What result do I want to create? 
      • Am I internally directed? 
      • Am I other-focused? 
      • Am I externally open? [42:20]

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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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