Episode 58: Purpose Leadership to Heal, Empower and Unify

There’s a yawning rift between the United States’ purpose and the reality that 97% of us are unhealthy, 84% of us are stressed out, 78% of us are living paycheck to paycheck. And, life is a lot worse for women and BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities. Brandon Peele, author of Purpose Work Nation: Leading Organizations in Service of Our Nation's Powerful Purpose, talks about the talent development, DE&I, learning, corporate culture and wellness practices businesses can use to bridge the rift and provide what people need to flourish.

If you enjoy the show, please rate it on Spotify or iTunes and write a one-sentence review. Your ratings and reviews help more people like you discover the podcast!

Episode Highlights


The purpose of the USA


Why businesses are best positioned to help America fulfill its purpose


How activating purpose helps workers, companies and country


Why activating purpose is so important for DEI


American symbols: bald eagle ethics vs. bison ethics


How bison ethics makes corporate learning more effective


Research on higher effectiveness of learning in groups


How social learning benefits DEI initiatives


The importance of self-awareness for talent development and DEI


What’s necessary for psychological safety

Brandon’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

“It's human connection, plain and simple. Folks are all about the result, and individual success and achievement. And we haven't been developed socially, emotionally and growing up. Well. A lot of that gets shamed out of us very early. Carol Gilligan has done studies on like when people get shamed out of their emotions, and finds that she found out that you know, girls, it's later like around 10ish, boys, it's much earlier, like four or five. So after that point, we stopped feeling we stopped connecting.

And because we've been told that who we are, our feelings, our whole experience is wrong. And so, we've been perfectly shaped into this organization person, who just as a single test, doer, achiever, and our deep need to connect and to be seen and heard, and to be a part of something that matters goes unmet. And almost everything now that is being innovated, has human connection at the center of it. And Unity Lab is just one example. I'm grateful that the word is getting out and people like, oh, yeah, we need to connect, and we won’t be so depressed, then we'll be more productive, then we'll be more innovative, then we'll be happier. And then we'll stay longer, then all these things. So, you have to make space for it.”

What “working with humans” means to Brandon

“Fun. I've had my own business been an individual contributor in the past, and I have so much more fun when I'm working with humans. I learned faster. I feel connected…We connect first at the human level, so for me, it's ‘I feel seen, I feel heard. I feel connected. And I'm just I'm enjoying work. It's fun. Like I like it.’”


Follow: Brandon through Unity Lab and his personal website
Read: Purpose Work Nation
Read: The Science of Purpose
Read: Research on purpose on purpose and flourishing
Visit: The Global Purpose Leaders

Michael Glazer is the creator and host of Humans At Work. His purpose in life is to make well-being at work a globally-accepted, basic human right. Learn more about Michael here.