Sometimes my work involves helping leaders one on one to become more purpose-driven so that they can maximize their impact and leverage.

In one instance, the CEO I was working with I had never met.

The room we were working in was small, and he had a large presence. I found my palms sweating as I began to realize how important this was to him.

He was deeply committed to doing the work. For each exercise we did, he worked hard. Never once coming close to accepting the easy answer.

We got to the values section, and he was relentless. He wasn’t the type to have a laundry list of values that resembled a Hallmark card.

We persisted. Asking:

What values will you be willing to invest in over the next 12 months?
What values will truly challenge you?
How will you know when you are living by your values?

Discussions were raw and vulnerable. He chose three values.

He believed 100% that investing in these three values would allow him to have the impact he knew he could have.

What happened next?

He quit.

I didn’t expect that. When we talked it through, he said it was the values exercise.

His values were not aligned with the corporate values. He felt no sense of judgment – values are not right or wrong. They were simply not aligned, and without that alignment, he knew he could not achieve his own purpose.

Not one decision he made through the process was easy. He wasn’t going for easy.

The life-altering payoff was worth it.