Nick Woodman is the CEO and founder of GoPro, the video and camera company. Born on June 24, 1975, Woodman grew up in Menlo Park, California, and earned a bachelor's degree in Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. His story offers a fascinating lesson about putting purpose at the heart of everything you do. He says: "I feel like in a world where we all try to figure out our place and our purpose here, your passions are one of your most obvious guides." Your purpose expresses who you are and what you do; it's about leading with intention and making change happen.

Here are three smart ways to lead with purpose.

1. Will Power.

This means the determination to not give up. When you find something you're truly passionate about, it will prioritize itself. You've heard the advice before: do what you love. To make your own mark, you must first match your "why" with focus and effort, then a chemical reaction will start that will enable rapid growth beyond anything you thought possible. Just look at how Slack Technologies CEO Stewart Butterfield is changing the way we work and collaborate.

2. Way Power.

This means knowing where you are going. Karen X. Cheng became a YouTube sensation when she released a video diary of how she learned to dance like a pro in just 365 days. Each and every day she would practice with unbelievable levels of discipline. Nothing stood in her way. Flu, tiredness, and occasional days when she simply did not want to dance were pushed aside in the pursuit of her goal. This social experiment quickly went viral around the world, gaining over four million views within days. The lesson here: Invest time in yourself to understand who you are and what you believe in.

3. Cut Through the Noise.

Purpose is an essential strategic tool for cutting through distractions and getting the job done. Remember, when you say yes to something you say no to something else. It's easier to waste time when you don't know what your "why" is. Speaking at a D8 Conference, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says: "I've always focused on a couple of things. One is to have a clear direction for the company and what we build. And the other is just trying to build the best team possible toward that... I think, as a company -- having a clear direction on what you are trying to do, and bringing in great people who can execute stuff -- then you can do pretty well."


If you look at the world, what most people are looking for in their lives is a sense of meaning and purpose. For an entrepreneur, it's a non-negotiable. Are you ready to ignite your purpose?

Published on: Jul 31, 2018
The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of