May 16, 2017

Powered by Purpose: Reflections From Leadercast 2017

This month, the entire PHOS team took a day out of the studio to attend Leadercast, an all-day, immersive leadership development event.

Leadercast is a live event hosted annually in Atlanta, Georgia, and simulcast to host sites throughout the world, including right here in Gainesville, Florida.

The event brings in speakers from various industries, from global business leaders to sports agents to actors. Its vision is to develop leaders worth following.

Leadership is one of our core values. To quote our definition of leadership at PHOS:

Leadership is a behavior, not a position. Within our team, within our industry, and with our clients,
everybody at PHOS is called to be a leader.

This is PHOS’ third time attending Leadercast to build into that value and grow as leaders.

Powered by Purpose

This year’s Leadercast theme was Powered by Purpose. It explored such topics as:

Below, a few of our team members shared one of their big takeaways about purpose from Leadercast 2017.

“The point of purpose is to determine how you will serve others.”
-Andy Stanley


Andy Stanley spoke about the concept of purpose as a means to an end. He claims that until someone is ready to be a means to an end, you will never be a person who is empowered by purpose. In his words: Perhaps the starting point for the discovery of purpose is this question, “Who am I here for?

I am here for my family, friends, co-workers, and clients. Serving them with my skills, love, and kindness so that they can reach their dreams, goals, and aspirations is how I am a means to their end. A life lived for others will always prove to be more rewarding than a life lived for yourself. It is then that purpose powers you.


One of the speakers mentioned the word ambition a few times during her talk. I’ve always been confused by the word ambition. For me, it tends to have an arrogant and somewhat dangerous connotation, but it is highly celebrated in our culture (Dave Harvey explores this paradigm in his book Rescuing Ambition). I’ve struggled in my leadership to understand what role ambition should play in my pursuit of growth. At that moment, though, I learned something significant about myself that I had never seen before. I learned that ambition drives me a lot less than a desire for excellence and a commitment to purpose. Those things get me up every day. Those things fuel my passion for our team, our clients, and for PHOS.


Can we lead if we don’t manage our energy? A question asked by Molly Fletcher, former Sports Agent hailed as “the female Jerry Maguire” by CNN, states that we can’t be fearless without being intentional about managing our energy.

To be fearless, the first step is to find our purpose because it suffocates fear. But you can’t be fearless unless you’re present. The next question Molly asked was, who deserves your energy? To find our purpose, we must be intentional about being present. We must invest our energy into things that drive our purpose. Our purpose will give us the courage to cut out what prevents us from giving our best to the causes and the people who deserve it most.

“If you confuse, you’ll lose.”
-Don Miller


Don Miller discussed the importance of clarity and simplicity in communication. He said, “If you confuse, you’ll lose.” He asked the audience to think of information as an 8lb bowling ball in that it needs to be easy to carry. Can the idea/information be understood in under 3 seconds? If not, then it’s too heavy (complicated). He also discussed the value of being a guide – the person (or company) with the short, easy to follow plan/process.

I found these takeaways to be key in my leadership journey. Being able to communicate and lead with clarity is a primary goal of mine. I want to be able to simply state the vision for a project, clearly define goals and objectives, and effectively lead without ambiguity – always acting as a guide for the team and clients.


Daniel Pink talked about a revelation he recently had about purpose: the difference between Purpose (with a capital P) and purpose. In his words, Purpose is making a difference, and purpose is contributing.

I want to empower people to enjoy their lives more. Capital Purpose could entail helping kids in hospitals have a better stay during a tough time by providing video games for them to take their minds off their situation. Lowercase purpose may mean smiling at strangers, asking clients about their kids, or any other everyday contribution. Both are important, and both are effective.


Jim McKelvey grounded the rest of the speakers’ big vision, capital P purposes in a problem-finding way. You can find purpose in seeing a problem and working towards a solution. This was such a clear, actionable statement that it put all the other talks into perspective.

Daniel Pink talked about how, without purpose, we can have the skills to achieve anything but lack the clarity to achieve what we actually want. It can be easy to get off course when a goal isn’t in focus.

“You cannot divorce purpose from service.”
-Andy Stanley


Andy Stanley, one of the speakers at this year’s Leadercast event, spoke about how purpose is driven by service. “The point of purpose is to determine how you will serve others. If you don’t plan to serve, you don’t need a purpose.”

Andy’s point resonated with me because purpose really drives what I do here at PHOS. Everything I do at PHOS is designed to serve our clients, who are serving the Gainesville community and the world. I’m excited to be a part of their journey and see what a purpose-driven perspective can make. Together, with our purposes in mind, we can do some really incredible things!

Jon Saxton

Jon Saxton

Jon recognizes passion and works to convey that in powerful ways. With an eye toward what could be and an understanding of how, he brings energy and ideas to everything he works with.