Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I am just back from a 4 day retreat with YPO. Awesome time. Good people.

I re-read "Purpose - The Starting Point of Great Companies" by Nikos Mourkogiannis. An excerpt from the book:

"Leadership is the ultimate advantage. When it's present, it makes all other advantages possible. And poor leadership can turn even the best advantage into a disaster.

If leadership is genius, then it is only effective because it is tightly linked to management. Leadership does not float in and out of an enterprise linke an inspiring butterfly coming in the window; its's not charismatic words and great deeds served up without context. Like everything else, leadership has to work on a daily basis."

I think the reason I chose to take that book from my fairly large collection is I am struggling with my personal purpose. Purpose gives meaning and drives inspiration. With inspiration, great things are possible.

Over years of running a business, I have come to identify myself as a leader. I still study leadership.

I almost find it awkward to know what to say I do when I meet people. I am a writer, speaker, investor, board member etc.

Now without a company to run, I feel that I lack purpose. So I struggle...


At 12:45 PM, Blogger Patti said...

Life of leisure is always short lived!

Why not try a short vacation to clear your head or a trip to family and friends surrounding yourself with caring individuals and have some fun!

At 2:46 PM, Anonymous Maxwell Pinto said...

Nice article...quite true, but what about "ethical" leadership, or is that an oxymoron?

Maxwell Pinto, Business Author:leadership, ethics, teamwork, women in the workforce, sexual harassment, bullying, trade unions, Japanese management, business continuity planning, etc.

At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Ted said...

Even though I'm young I've thought about this quite a bit, about that time when you think you've hit the biggest peak in your life. What are you to do?

That's why my life plan has always been to show the world I can do it, build that credibility, and then transfer my focus to the next generation and help them do it. Reading Bob Noyce's Biography (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0195163435/ref=cap_pdp_dp_0) really hit this home for me. What better way to leave a legacy then to have some of the greatest business leaders identify you as one of their key mentors and reasons for success?

Also, another great book related to this is The Paradox of Success (http://www.amazon.com/Paradox-Success-John-R-ONeil/dp/0874777720/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1256676761&sr=1-1). I really enjoyed it.

At 8:39 PM, Anonymous Jorge V said...

I see you read a good number of books. Have you considered audio books, if not, why not?
I find audio books allow me to absorb material while doing other things I would have not been able to do had I been holding a book.
Also, do you have a Kindle?

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Dave Brock's Blog said...

Jim, provocative post. I reflect on this frequently. Too often we define ourselves as our job or our company. It's really much bigger, yet we all have trouble seeing this.

My sense is that you know your purpose, you may not be able to articulate it currently. But when you can, what you do will fit and further illuminate it.

Thanks for getting me to reflect on mine! Regards, Dave

At 8:52 PM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

I like the "book experience" as opposed to Kindle (just like I like reading a real newspaper as opposed to just online (even though I do it)). What I do like about the Kindle is the ability to take a lot of books without taking an extra bag.

Turning Kindle pages too fast also burns too much power.

I do audio books all the time. I do find it is a different experience than reading though since I usually do it while I am driving or running so I can not highlight or take notes.

At 8:28 AM, Anonymous Tom Carswell said...

How would you like to change the world for the better, Jim?

(Hopefully that question will help you decide).

At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Jim S - Ottawa said...


You often Blog about your dedication and success habit of being a "life long learner". You're clearly passionate about sharing your knowledge with Blogs, Books, Speaking, Boards etc...perhaps your new purpose is a "life long teacher".

There is no shortage of companies, organizations and leaders that could benefit from your knowledge and success!

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous U.I. said...


I would like to get your thoughts on Executive Book Summaries. I try to be an avid reader...so I subscribe to Soundview Executive Book Summaries. I really do like it because I can't catch up on all the best business books but this service is fantastic.

Your feedback would be highly appreciated.

At 8:45 PM, Blogger Jim Estill said...

re - book summaries. I prefer reading the whole book usually. I prefer to do my own summary.

This said, I do advocate them for people who like to read them.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

There's a process called "nexStep" which helps people in situations like yours identify the next step in their lives. It looks at how 8 aspects of what makes you unique (including your personality, values, key life experiences, etc.) work together to give you purpose, resulting in a focused vision for your next step.

If that's something you might be interested in, I could give you more information.


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