Ep24: How to make work more purpose-oriented with Aaron Hurst

The TalentGrow Show how to make work more purpose-oriented with Aaron Hurst hosted by Halelly Azulay

In this episode, I speak with award-winning entrepreneur and author, Aaron Hurst, about how leaders can bring purpose to work and change the very nature of work in the process. Aaron busts three common myths about purpose and describes ways that each of us can identify our purpose. He shares some staggering statistics about the deficit of purpose-oriented workers in today’s workplace and why we should hire for this trait to bring higher performance and better culture to organizations everywhere (plus he suggests exactly how to screen candidates for this illusive characteristic). Aaron also tells us about different purpose types and how leaders can use them, and common mistakes leaders make and how to avoid them. Finally, Aaron shares one highly actionable tip that you can take to improve your leadership skills

What you’ll learn:

Listen to Stitcher
  • How to find your purpose
  • How to help those you work with find their purpose
  • Why is there cynicism about working with purpose and why it’s actually not something for the fortunate minority among us but rather it’s for everyone
  • What are three common myths people have about purpose?
  • What is the current percentage of the U.S. workforce that is purpose-oriented?
  • Why should you hire for purpose-orientation and how to screen for it in potential candidates?
  • Is purpose-orientation a state or a trait?
  • What are the three things that purpose-oriented people want from their work?
  • Why should you be really clear about your own sense of purpose and how should leaders work with their teams to get clear on their purpose?
  • What’s the connection between personal and organizational purpose?
  • What’s a purpose type and how can you find out yours? (Bonus – what’s Halelly’s and Aaron’s?)
  • How should leaders use the purpose type information about each member of their team?
  • What’s the best way to help individual team members celebrate their success? (Hint: it has to do with their purpose type)
  • What are three common mistakes that leaders make and how can you avoid them?
  • What big, hairy, audacious goal is Aaron’s company, Imperative, working toward to make a huge impact in the world and improve the lives of millions?
  • What’s wrong with striving for money and status goals?
  • What’s the secret to success?
  • What is one specific action that you can take to upgrade your career success and leadership?
  • Why do Aaron and Halelly shout “Amen!” at the end of their conversation?
  • And more!

Resources and Links

Aaron’s company website – Imperative and take the diagnostic to identify your purpose type or use the diagnostic for screening candidates

Read Aaron’s book, The Purpose Economy

Check out The Taproot Foundation

Book Aaron as a keynote speaker

Connect with Aaron by email or on LinkedIn or Twitter

Seminal book we mentioned: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Read about the Self-Us-Now theory of leadership by Marshall Ganz that inspired Aaron's tip


Intro/outro music for The TalentGrow Show: "Why-Y" by Esta - a great band of exquisitely talented musicians, and good friends of mine.

About Aaron Hurst

A globally recognized entrepreneur, Aaron Hurst is the CEO of Imperative, a technology platform that enables people to discover, connect and act on what gives them purpose in their work. Aaron is a close advisor to many global brands and frequent speaker and writer on the development of the Purpose Economy.

He is the founder and an active advisor to the Taproot Foundation where he was the catalyst and lead architect of the $15 billion pro bono service market.  He was the creative force behind the conception of the national Billion + Change campaign. Previously he worked in Silicon Valley developing the precursors to social media.

Widely known for his thought-leadership and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post,  Stanford Social Innovation Review and LinkedIn, Aaron is a member of the  Nonprofit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50, and has been recognized as a top social entrepreneur by Fast Company,Ashoka, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Manhattan Institute and theCommonWealth Club.  In 2009, he received the highest honor bestowed on an alumnus of the University of Michigan.

Transcript (scroll)

Announcer: Welcome to the TalentGrow Show, where you can get actionable results-oriented insight and advice on how to take your leadership, communication and people skills to the next level and become the kind of leader people want to follow. And now, your host and leadership development strategist, Halelly Azulay.

Halelly: Welcome back to episode 24 of the TalentGrow Show. This episode marks a full year since I started podcasting and it has been exciting, fun and definitely a learning journey. This episode features Aaron Hurst, who is a globally recognized entrepreneur and author. Cannot wait for you to listen to Aaron describe how do we find our purpose at work? How do we help those who work with us identify their purpose? How do we ensure that it all aligns with our organizational purpose and eventually how do we make all work feel like that really soul-satisfying pro bono work that people look for? Aaron describes some common myths about purpose and some common mistakes that leaders make and how we can avoid them. He also shares some statistics about how purpose-oriented people thrive and outperform others. He shares some great ideas for how you can ask specific types of interview questions to help you screen job candidates for the kinds of people who are those high-performing, thriving, purpose-oriented people. And in the end, as always he shares an actionable tip plus a cool tool that you could use to help you put that tip to work. And, this episode marks the beginning of a brand new tool that I’m offering, a free download called “The 10 Mistakes Leaders make and How to Avoid them,” that is available to listeners of the podcast. So listen to the end to hear how you can download a sneak peek. It’s on the show notes. Okay, here we go. Episode 24, with Aaron Hurst.

Welcome back to the TalentGrow Show. I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist and I’m happy to be here with Aaron Hurst who is a globally recognized entrepreneur and CEO of Imperative, a technology platform that enables people to discover, connect and act on what gives them purpose in their work. He’s also the author of a book called The Purpose Economy and founder of the Taproot Foundation where he was the catalyst and lead architect of the $15 billion pro bono service market. Aaron, welcome to the TalentGrow Show.

Aaron: So fun to be here with you.

Halelly: I’m really appreciative that you are giving the time, your busy time to our listeners, so we can talk about this thing you call purpose. But before we get into that, you have had an illustrious career – supposedly you started at age 16 which I'm curious to know more about, and I really want you to try and encapsulate that just in a couple of minutes for folks. What has your professional journey been like?

Don't forget to LEAVE A RATING/REVIEW ON iTUNES! It’s easy to do (here’s how to do it in 4 easy steps). Thank you!!

Get my free guide, "10 Mistakes Leaders Make and How to Avoid Them" and receive my weekly newsletter full of actionable tips, links and ideas for taking your leadership and communication skills to the next level!