Jun 21, 2018
The search for one’s true purpose in life is one of the most
daunting questions we humans face – but it doesn’t have to be.
Jennifer chats with Kevin Monroe, a self-described servant leader
who brings his lifelong study of purpose into his work as a
leadership coach and consultant, advising both individuals and
companies in their search for purpose greater than themselves.
- How would you describe Kevin Monroe in one word? According to
him, that word is “pilgrim.” Kevin tells Jennifer a little bit
about how his outlook has changed throughout his life and how
getting fired from his position in the church was exactly what he
needed to start the next stage of his journey.
- After 10 years in telecommunications sales and marketing, and
after finding out some hard truths about his long-coveted dream
job, Kevin left to join a high-tech startup with some friends.
Their timing wasn’t so great; as the dot-com bubble burst in 2001,
the company dissolved and Kevin was brought back to that nagging
question of purpose staring him in the face.
- Corporate America is a beast in its own right. Uninterested in
returning to the predictable machinations of another corporate
position, Kevin took a hard look at what success meant for him and
where true fulfillment lay on his path, ultimately moving on to the
- The tale of a short-lived career in the non-profit sector is,
unfortunately, a dime a dozen. Kevin’s experience was no exception.
After losing his job, the next step was a no-brainer: time to start
a business. Jennifer asks Kevin about founding X Factor Consulting,
LLC and the early days of being out on his own.
- Unearthing your purpose isn’t just about reaching a destination
at the end of a path but navigating a winding road, its direction
only visible a few steps ahead. After Kevin landed some clients and
got things working smoothly, the question of purpose returned.
Jennifer asks Kevin about how he used to think about his purpose
and how it has changed over time.
- In Kevin’s view, purpose is not singular but is
multidimensional and multifaceted; he talks about the importance of
his family when it comes to purpose and the primacy of
- The times have changed. The corporations of yesteryear are
catching up to the socially minded ethos of the non-profit sector.
Kevin talks about how today’s conversations around balancing
profit-making and social good are in line with the thread of
servant leadership that he seems to have been following all along.
Jennifer asks Kevin about what servant leadership is to him.
- For many doers and thinkers, the hyper-focus upon the
individual leader is counterintuitive. Kevin talks about
other-centered leadership, relaying a story about visiting the
corporate headquarters of Chick-fil-a and the servant leadership
approach of Southwest Airlines.
- How does one become a servant leader? Jennifer asks Kevin if
people are born as servant leaders and if one can learn to shift
their way of thinking. According to Kevin, “Little things matter
most. And we never know what little thing is going to matter most
to whom when.” Sometimes a warm greeting and a handshake can do
- Both Kevin and Jennifer are walking proof that you can change
the way you think about leadership step by step, throughout your
life. Listen to them tell some stories about leadership experiences
in their careers. Kevin also provides insight into the power of
servant leadership and why it’s so much simpler and intuitive than
it often sounds.
- Between his podcast – called the Higher Purpose podcast – and his
consulting and facilitation work, Kevin’s focus on purpose is
driven by the importance of self-driven discovery. There is no
universal training program for servant leadership because
everyone’s story is different. What Kevin tries to do is create the
ideal conditions for companies and organizations to connect with
their own story on a deeper level in order to discover, be inspired
by and effectively lead with their newfound purpose.
- While Kevin mostly works with larger companies, he talks about
some tools and resources for helping individuals. You can find some
of these resources in the links below!
So what’s next for Kevin Monroe? Kevin gives us some details
about a new interview segment on the Higher Purpose podcast called
Profiles of Purpose and drops a few juicy
takeaways in the form of some excellent quotes, credited and
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he
cannot lose.” – Jim Elliott
“Purpose thrives in community, but starves in isolation.” –
Links and Resources:
Higher Purpose podcast
Profiles of Purpose
Books (affiliate links):
Firms of Endearment: How World-Class Companies Profit
from Passion and Purpose
Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic
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