There is nothing like a global pandemic to make one focus on one’s humanity. So despite founding purpose consulting over 25 years ago, the last 18 months have been the busiest in BCG BrightHouse’s history as we help companies navigate their purpose journeys all over the world. I have mused with friends and colleagues that it feels as though I am on an international CEO-palooza tour right now on the topic of purpose. It is an incredible opportunity.
Regarding Microsoft, Bill Gates once said, “I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. But many others were also in the same place. The difference was that I took action.” Taking inspiration from Gates, I am focused on taking action in this critical moment and feel fortunate to lean in during times of corporate existential uncertainty with perceived value to offer; I am lucky to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right expertise. To boot, my personal purpose is to bring together unique partnerships to create beautiful things. So I am acting on this purpose to create conversations—whether across partners, business units, or within conglomerates—that influence how companies have impact with all their stakeholders in mind.
So when people ask me where my resilience comes from, my energy on 4 am calls, and optimism in keynote speeches, my answer is a simple one: the world needs what I am selling, especially in this moment. Every session with a CEO about purpose, sustainability, or DEI is a chance for me, through articulation and strategic activation of purpose, to influence the millions (billions?) of customers’ lives that these companies touch, and then the lives of those they touch, and so on. As someone with a background in public health, spreading the beneficial externality that purpose offers brings me light.
Our purpose at BrightHouse is “discovering true light in the world,” and in the midst of the darkness of pandemic, struggle for social justice, global economic uncertainty, and lingering, work-from-home Zoom-inspired malaise, we could all use a little light. Which is what I am thinking when I squint at myself in the bathroom mirror at 4am with a sleepy but resilient smile on my face.