Purpose Driven Culture & Leadership

On July 6, 2010 Kevin Freiberg contributed the following questions to QuestionsForLiving.

QuestionsForLiving:  What were your primary questions that started you on your life's journey, toward coaching and consulting?

Kevin Freiberg:

  • How can we make a difference serving/helping others?
  • What can we do to make the world a better place?

Note:  The two institutions that have the greatest potential to affect change in the world are business and the church.


QFL:  What questions were you asking yourself that attracted you to Southwest Airlines and led to the authorship of Nuts! Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success?


  • Is anyone really living transformational leadership out loud? Leadership is about transformation and transformation ISN’T about being cautious, metered, and incremental. So, who’s out there that is transforming something in the true sense of the word? 
  • What makes Herb Kelleher and the people of SWA so extraordinary? 
  • Is it possible to truly love people, make work fun, and make money? 


QFL:  What are the core questions which you ask yourself when writing and teaching the concepts within your books, Nuts, Guts, and Boom? 

KF: The questions are unique to the specific project. Here are some examples:

  • The primary question for NUTS was “What if you could create a culture that really is an extraordinary magnet for world-class talent, that people beat the doors down to get into? 
  • The central question in GUTS was: “Does one size fit all—do you have to have a Herb Kelleher to build an extraordinary organization?" 
  • For BOOM, we asked “How can we help people see that there is FREEDOM in ACCOUNTABILITY?” and “That pointing fingers, casting blame and shunning responsibility makes us prisoners of our own choosing?” 
  • How can we help people see that when they stop making excuses and start assuming responsibility in life and in business they have a much better shot at making a dent in the universe, and they stand a much better shot at living a life with fewer regrets?  You only get one life, you have to make it count. 


QFL:  What questions do you ask yourself that define your approach to helping individuals and organizations achieve peak performance, passion, and love for their work? 


  • What do people really want out of life? People want to be loved and accepted. They want to know that the world takes them seriously, that they count. The majority of pain in the world—including the corporate world—will fall into one huge category called UNLOVED.  Rejection, anger, fear, betrayal, blaming, silence, etc all sends the same message— you aren’t loved. So, the QUESTION becomes:
  • How do we help leaders figure out what love looks like in a corporate environment? Love is service.
  • What’s the noble, heroic cause for which you fight?

Note: When business is defined as, or becomes, a cause people:  

  • Become self-motivated, intrinsically motivated.
  • Are moved by commitment vs. compliance
  • Will persevere during the hard times

What do Apple, Medtronic, USAA, Google, Tata Motors, Starbucks, Whole Foods, and others have in common—places feel more like crusades than businesses. People bring a maniacal focus, missionary zeal, healthy level of fanaticism to the game.


QFL: What core questions would you suggest that other people ask themselves to create and feel a sense of passion for their work? 


  • What am I gifted at—genetically encoded to do? What comes natural? What strengths draw the most positive affirmation from others? 
  • What am I passionate about? What gets me out of bed in the morning? 
  • What needs to be done? Where can I make a contribution? What unique niche can I fill with my gifts and passion? What do I feel CALLED to? 
  • Do I have the guts to say no for the bigger YES? Am I willing to jettison GOOD to go for GREAT? Am I willing to take the RISK to find my sweet spot? 
  • What’s at stake if I maintain the status quo—do I join the ranks of Dead People Working? 
QFL:  What core questions would you suggest that leaders ask themselves to create a sense of passion and love for work within their organizations?
  • Why am I here? Am I here to serve or be served? 
  • Have I created a culture where people feel valued? How do I know? 
  • Have I created a culture where people feel safe to take risks? 
  • Have I created a culture where people are encouraged to be authentic, to stand up and tell it like it is? 
  • Do our people truly believe that they are caught up in a cause of heroic proportion? 
  • Do they see how their individual contributions link to and support the cause? Do they have a sense of belonging to something bigger?

QFL: Independent of the work environment, what questions do you believe that people should /could ask themselves to make our world a happier and healthier place to live?


  • G.B. Shaw said, “This is the true joy in life; being used for a purpose, recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” Am I here to serve the world or is the world here to make me happy? Perhaps true joy is found in serving the world. 
  • What do I feel CALLED to? WHO is doing the calling? The Creator of all that is has asked you to join Him in an epic adventure to transform the world into the paradise He originally willed it to be.   
  • So… what would it look like if we modeled our lives after the most loving, courageous, extraordinary change agent who ever lived? 
  • What would happen if we invited Him to teach us how to live our lives and run our organizations? 
  • Is it possible that we would blow the doors off life and business as usual? 
  • Is it possible that the by-product serving His agenda would be a more joyful happier healthier world?


Kevin Freiberg can be contacted at: 

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