Jon Duschinsky on making more money by doing more good

Can you have purpose driven organizations without purpose driven leaders?

What does it feel like to be in service of something bigger than us?

And should it really come down to tax status to decide if people, or companies, are going to make a difference in the world?

These are just some of the questions that get answered in today’s episode with Jon Duschinsky.

Jon is a global thought leader, social innovator and champion of Business for Good.

He inspires future-thinking leaders to Make More Money by Doing More Good, accelerating their innovation, social and environmental impact and talent retention. He has advised clients in over 60 countries, including companies like Airbus, NASCAR, and Prudential as well as the Governments of Germany, the US, France and the UAE. And he’s coached hundreds of leaders and future leaders, written two books and lectures regularly at universities around the world.

We talk about why unlocking your personal purpose and your corporate purpose is so important.
Jon talks about our conditioned behavior patterns, and how they don’t serve us.

And the return on leaning into purpose – both as a company and as an individual.

There is so much here.

So grab that favourite beverage or throw on those running shoes, and enjoy this conversation with Jon.

And please don’t forget to let us know what you think of this episode, leave a review and subscribe.

And you can also reach Jon on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonduschinsky/

00:00:02:05 – 00:00:27:03
Philippa White
Welcome to the show, where we unearth new ways of looking at ever evolving lights around the world. Seen from a number of different industries, cultures and backgrounds. But there’s one thing that unites everyone I speak to. They all want to do their part to make the world better in their own unique ways. It’s a uniting passion. Whether they’re from the commercial world, third sector or public sector from the Global North or the global south.

00:00:27:15 – 00:01:00:06
Philippa White
My name is Philippa White and welcome to TIE Unearthed. Is it possible to make more money by doing more good? Why is unlocking your personal purpose and your corporate purpose so important, and what does that even look like? Hello and welcome to Episode 74 of TIE Unearthed. Today I’m speaking with Jon Duschinsky, a global thought leader, social innovator and champion of business for good.

00:01:01:02 – 00:01:43:22
Philippa White
The data proves that good businesses are 30% more innovative and have 40% higher levels of workforce retention than their competition. While their stock values grow twice as fast, Jon inspires future thinking leaders to make more money by doing more good. Accelerating their innovation, social and environmental impact and talent retention, particularly with Gen Z and Millennials. Now, Jon has provided expert advice to clients in over 60 countries, including companies like Airbus, NASCAR and Prudential, as well as the governments of Germany, the US, France and the UAE.

00:01:44:09 – 00:02:15:21
Philippa White
He’s coached hundreds of leaders and future leaders, written two books and lectures regularly at universities around the world. The first part of Jon’s career was spent developing philanthropy and social impact, then working at a national level to build civil society, initially in France and then across Eastern and Central Europe. At the heart of his work is this unique double culture and ability to navigate seamlessly between the worlds of business and social impact.

00:02:16:08 – 00:02:42:24
Philippa White
And because leaders can only ask others to stand with them if they know what they stand for. He also reaches well beyond the boardroom, into the space of leadership transformation to unlock meaning and purpose in the lives of all those he works with. It was many of, you know, tie also connects different sectors and through these connections works to unlock the power of social impact and business.

00:02:43:14 – 00:03:05:21
Philippa White
So for me, this conversation was fascinating as I continue my journey talking to various people around the world to understand the power of tapping into human values and being human centric. We cover a lot in this conversation, so grab that favorite beverage or throw in those running shoes. And here’s Jon.

00:03:06:19 – 00:03:11:17
Philippa White
Hello, Jon. Thank you so much for joining us. I’m so excited to have this conversation with you today.

00:03:12:00 – 00:03:14:10
Jon Duschinsky
It’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for the opportunity.

00:03:14:22 – 00:03:29:07
Philippa White
Yeah, well, we were just chatting before we started recording, and I love it. Well, first of all, I just want to know, where are you right now? Because I you know, I speak to so many people from all over the world. You have a British accent, but where are you?

00:03:29:15 – 00:03:42:00
Jon Duschinsky
I have a British accent. That’s right. I am. I am that kind of Englishman in New York. But I’m not in New York. I am about an hour outside Toronto in a little town called Wealth, Ontario. Yeah. Yeah.

00:03:42:09 – 00:03:43:21
Philippa White
Canadian at heart.

00:03:43:21 – 00:04:00:18
Jon Duschinsky
And Canadian by adoption? Yes. Whose home is, after all, where the heart is. And I’ve been lucky enough to work in some 60 something countries and live in the U.K., France, Italy and Canada. So this is home and has been for the last 12 years.

00:04:00:21 – 00:04:13:02
Philippa White
Tell us about you and your background, but also just your last name is the Chin Ski. So that is, from what I understand, Czech. But just. Yeah. Talk to us about your background and where do you come from?

00:04:13:07 – 00:04:36:06
Jon Duschinsky
Yeah, that’s right. So Wyszynski is Czech and my grandfather on my father’s side was checks on, of course, a Czech, a quarter German, a quarter Welsh and a quarter English and 100% befuddled. As one gets older, one one Danza, I think a greater appreciation of one’s heritage. It’s not something that ancestry makes. It’s money. It’s people over 55, 68.

00:04:36:06 – 00:04:57:23
Jon Duschinsky
It has been interesting for me to just sort of spend some time as I got older looking at that. My my grandparents on my father’s side are both Holocaust survivors from Germany and and the Czech, Czechoslovakia time. And on my mother’s side, my grandfather’s heritage is from South Wales, from the coal mining towns and the, the working clubs and the pubs and the storytelling.

00:04:58:02 – 00:05:23:15
Jon Duschinsky
I kind of host rationalize this was as one does in life I suppose to sort of look at the fact that I was clearly driven to survive because I think that’s that’s in the genes. That’s some very interesting research that’s been done on how sort of trauma from things that have happened to previous generations. Now there’s clearly sort of on one side, a bit of survivor syndrome and on the other side of the storytelling piece.

00:05:23:15 – 00:05:32:11
Jon Duschinsky
And I suppose that kind of encapsulates kind of who I have become as you justify your existence on this planet. And what have you got to do that? Well, stories.

00:05:33:01 – 00:05:34:08
Philippa White
Yeah, totally.

00:05:34:11 – 00:05:38:12
Jon Duschinsky
A kind of brings us to the present in a weird and slightly befuddling way.

00:05:38:15 – 00:05:47:11
Philippa White
A beautiful story way, but. Well, thank you. Tell us, what are you doing now then? So what is the present and how did it come about?

00:05:47:20 – 00:06:13:00
Jon Duschinsky
Yeah. So I fell into the nonprofit. Well, I fell into charity fundraising at a very young age. I was like the Asterix and Obelix comics. And I don’t know if those of us who are familiar with that Obelix fell into the cauldron when he was a baby. And I feel like I kind of fell into the cauldron of fundraising because it was, as I was becoming aware, that unneeded to justify my existence on the planet telling stories, well, what could you do?

00:06:13:08 – 00:06:39:03
Jon Duschinsky
Raise money for charity? That would be a really nice it’s a good fit. And so I started doing fundraising events when I was at school, and then when I went to university, I found myself involved in the student charity movement in the UK, which was fascinating because it meant that I spent most of my weekends out on street corners rattling tins and raising money for causes and most of my weeks organizing the weekends and not frankly doing a huge amount of work, helping my kids and not listening to this majestic institution.

00:06:39:03 – 00:07:01:23
Jon Duschinsky
And for about 15 years, I worked I worked in the nonprofit lot, I worked in the UK and then in France had a chance to lead some fabulous nonprofit organizations and then began working a little bit more at a kind of an institutional policy level, particularly in eastern central Europe, helping create the infrastructures for civil society and help to create a little bit more of a culture of philanthropy.

00:07:02:00 – 00:07:21:24
Jon Duschinsky
I remember doing a training session with some some NGOs in Donetsk and it taking, I think it was two days to be able to kind of land the concepts that it was not illegal and immoral for a group of people to get together in the community and raise money to spend that on benefiting the community. Wow. Really? Yeah.

00:07:22:01 – 00:07:45:00
Jon Duschinsky
Really, really. Such just some fascinating exposure to what civil society actually means, what finance really, really means. And so I wrote my first book called Philanthropy in a Flat World. I think it was 2008, somewhere on that anyway. And that was kind of the time of the world melting down a little bit. And I started getting some phone calls from companies around that time saying, this is interesting, this saving the world kerfuffle.

00:07:45:00 – 00:08:14:18
Jon Duschinsky
We should probably get in on that. And that was sort of very much of the origins of corporate social responsibility and that kind of early, early thinking around that. And so for the last 15 years, I really kind of sit I sit and have sat at the intersection of what I call making money and doing good, working with non and for profit organizations, trying to get past the fact that we use tax status as a way to decide whether people are going to be about making an impact in the world or making they’re aligning their own pocketbooks, which has always baffled me.

00:08:14:18 – 00:08:30:00
Jon Duschinsky
So I like to kind of think of organizations as being either for change or largely irrelevant for the last 15 years. That’s that’s what I’ve done. And what’s been interesting in the last few years is the idea of purpose has been around for ten or 15 years, but it’s kind of really caught on in the last four or five years.

00:08:30:07 – 00:08:51:18
Jon Duschinsky
And so it’s been that. So the space that I have gravitated to and folks have kind of gravitated to me around that is how do we stand for something a little bit more than what we do? How do we connect a little bit more with our why, for want of a better word? But as I’ve been doing that work, it became clear to me and this was mostly during the pandemic, that you can’t have purpose driven organizations without purpose driven leaders.

00:08:52:05 – 00:09:16:06
Jon Duschinsky
I mean, and it sounds like it. But now, truth, of course, you can’t. But I remember being in a boardroom in Singapore a couple of years pre-pandemic, working with a major bank on that purpose. Why do they exist? And it was I’m sure you’ve had these kind of moments. You just you’re banging a head against the wall and whatever you tried isn’t working and you’re getting a lot of blank faces looking at you.

00:09:16:19 – 00:09:33:21
Jon Duschinsky
What is this curly guy talking about and why is he here and what are we doing here? And and I had a moment. I turned to the CEO and said, Do you care and your purpose? And he looked at me as though I’d just asked him something in Greek, and I went around the room and not a single one of these men, all of them men, had any idea what their purpose was in life.

00:09:33:22 – 00:09:51:02
Jon Duschinsky
And that’s when it really hit me. It’s like, okay, we can’t do this work at an organizational level if we don’t have some notion of what it means to stand for something as an individual. And that led me down this fabulous rabbit hole of sort of transformational coaching and purpose driven leadership, which is kind of what I’ve now brought into my work.

00:09:51:02 – 00:10:09:03
Jon Duschinsky
So I work with leaders today to help them connect with that purpose. Then I work with their organizations to help their organizations connected that purpose. And then what we do is we create spaces where, yeah, it’s like if you imagine a Venn diagram where each individual in the organization is clear on that purpose, clear on the organization’s purpose, clear on how they overlap.

00:10:09:12 – 00:10:25:00
Jon Duschinsky
And people come to work because they want to, because they feel that what they’re doing matters to them. And it matters to the organization, and they’re part of something bigger than themselves. And you create places that are just fun, exciting places to work, that make more money and do more good.

00:10:25:00 – 00:10:51:22
Philippa White
Yeah, totally. I mean, as you know, I’m writing a book and there’s a part of my book where I’m talking about just that. People need to understand what it is that they are on this earth for. And then companies need to figure out what they’re on this earth for. I mean, if you have people working for your company that don’t align with that, but also don’t know what they’re just lost in, you know, there’s no loyalty, there’s no engagement, just makes sense.

00:10:51:22 – 00:11:05:19
Philippa White
But like you say, it’s not common, though. So I believe that Cuban centric companies are only possible with human centric leaders. I hate the word human centric. I’m desperately trying to find another word for that.

00:11:05:19 – 00:11:07:14
Jon Duschinsky
Because what does it mean to me?

00:11:08:08 – 00:11:27:12
Philippa White
It’s a good question because I need to define it. In my book. I’m defining it in three ways. I like that you ask that, so I’m defining it in three ways. One is, as a person being pleased with you, so it’s you be, you know, it’s about you being you. Be proud of that. Don’t try and be somebody else.

00:11:27:12 – 00:11:55:02
Philippa White
Don’t be you. So you know, you can be a nice person and be a leader like it. So it’s okay. You can do that. You can. We know life is just better if you’re nice, so it’s tapping into those human values that you could be proud of just being you. Secondly, it’s understanding that connection with others, that connectedness as a group, but then it’s also that interconnect goodness as a as a planet.

00:11:55:02 – 00:12:13:07
Philippa White
And so it’s understanding how decisions made in one place can impact people in another place. So I’m still trying to figure out the wording to really kind of define it, but I think it’s tapping into human values. That’s what I think. It’s tapping into human values and getting the most out of life and business by doing that.

00:12:13:07 – 00:12:58:04
Jon Duschinsky
I love the the notion of being pleased with you. I think one of the things that I’ve come to realize over the last few years, working with leaders, is that there’s a fundamental human truth that exists. And I will say most, not all societies that I’ve had the privilege to work in, but certainly in most developed societies and certainly in every Western society that I’ve been in, is that we grow up feeling like there is something wrong and that we’re not good enough, and we spend most of our lives caught in a circle of behavior patterns that are really just about justifying our systems, that are about staying safe and that are about dealing with

00:12:58:04 – 00:13:19:14
Jon Duschinsky
the little voices in our head that say, you’re not good enough and there’s something wrong here and you’re the reason why it’s wrong. The idea of kind of tapping into that human centric, that first part of what you’re calling the human centric leader for me has to be about owning that and naming it and holding up the mirror and saying, this is this is actually what’s going on.

00:13:19:20 – 00:13:41:24
Jon Duschinsky
We spend almost all of our lives in this kind of auto pilot state covering, papering over all of the stuff that’s going on under the surface like this, this duck that appears so calm and underneath the surface is paddling furiously, not paddling furiously. It’s all happening in our minds. It’s our fears, it’s our anxieties and the brain development work that’s been done on this is fascinating.

00:13:42:00 – 00:14:03:09
Jon Duschinsky
The last 5 to 10 years, there’s been some really interesting developments in in the field of understanding brain development and and neuroscience and just figuring out how this thing that we carry around on our on our shoulders all the time actually functions. And through that, there’s been this kind of awareness coming that, you know, we go through various different phases as we grow.

00:14:03:09 – 00:14:19:15
Jon Duschinsky
But this phase that we get sort of 18 months to two years where we begin to realize that we’re independent human beings and as independent human beings, we need to stay safe and guarantee our own security. And the best way we can do that is to try and understand this world of big people that we really don’t understand.

00:14:19:15 – 00:14:35:18
Jon Duschinsky
And so we spend the next few years drawing conclusions about how people show up based on the understanding we have as a three year old or a four year old. And then we we literally come to that. It’s like it’s coded into a series of algorithms that then generate behavior, patterns that carry with us for the rest of our lives.

00:14:36:06 – 00:15:02:07
Jon Duschinsky
And when you stop and think about that, you’re like, hold on. So in those moments where I’m not completely present and completely intentional, which, let’s face it, is a most of the time for most of us actually, who’s running the show or who’s running the show is a five year old. So no wonder we’re in this space where we’re stuck in ego, we’re stuck in fear, we’re stuck in survival because most of our lives are not being run by adults.

00:15:02:07 – 00:15:24:24
Jon Duschinsky
They’re being run by children. And and, you know, when you come back to this idea of being nice and being pleased with yourself, you can only be pleased with yourself. I think when you can recognize that. Okay, actually, what’s going on here is I’m just a five year old trying to stay safe and I’ve created these really complex behavioral strategies around doing that.

00:15:24:24 – 00:15:44:13
Jon Duschinsky
And actually all of that is I can breathe and let some of it go. Yeah, because I don’t need to stay safe when I’m a 30 year old or 25 year old or a 50 year old. In the same way as I need to stay sick when I’m a five year old, when I’m entirely dependent on big people who I don’t understand for all the things I need to stay alive.

00:15:44:13 – 00:16:03:22
Jon Duschinsky
Yeah. So there’s there’s something I think. I really believe that you’re on to something here. There’s something powerful for us to get as individuals and as leaders. And if we can recognize that, we’re showing up by that. The example I give which which always makes me giggle because I, I did it so much. My kids are now a little bit older because we, we live in Canada.

00:16:03:22 – 00:16:07:19
Jon Duschinsky
So a large number of months of the year kids are in snow suits.

00:16:08:15 – 00:16:13:18
Philippa White
Yes. So terrible. You can imagine how the stakes of that is. Oh, well.

00:16:13:22 – 00:16:26:19
Jon Duschinsky
Can you imagine trying to get a two and a half, two or a three year old or four year old out of the door? You’ve got a meeting to go to. The morning’s been a big earthquake. It’s -30 outside. They need to put the damn snowsuit on.

00:16:27:00 – 00:16:28:06
Philippa White
And they’ve lost the mitts.

00:16:28:15 – 00:16:49:09
Jon Duschinsky
When they lost the permits. And you are losing the will to live and everything in you as the parent says. Take a deep breath, sit down with them, make this into a game, have some fun with it. Tell them a story about little Jimmy who put his snow on. And and then and, you know, as a parent how to get them to put the damn snow suit on.

00:16:50:01 – 00:17:24:08
Jon Duschinsky
But yet in that moment, what happens? You start yelling at three year old. Yeah, no, that’s that’s not you as the adult having your hands on the wheel of life. That’s it’s just not that’s that’s the for sure. Oh yeah. And his or her fears and anxieties showing up and just buried in the space. Yeah, yeah. So there’s, there’s so much around us that we don’t yet understand and, and this this notion of human centric or this notion of purpose driven, because really, I think fundamentally we’re saying the same thing here.

00:17:24:12 – 00:17:24:20
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:17:24:20 – 00:17:39:00
Jon Duschinsky
We’re it’s about how does one tap into a little bit more intention for me, a little bit more intentionality by just becoming really aware of how we are behaving, how we’re showing up, not making themselves wrong for it.

00:17:39:19 – 00:18:06:05
Philippa White
Yeah, I think it’s interesting. It’s being true to ourselves and like you say, really tapping into that fundamental understanding of how to be in control actually of your emotions in your life. But I think it’s also the impact and the power that you have over others and actually the power that you have. So yelling at your three year old, I mean, it’s a perfect example, yelling at you to get.

00:18:06:05 – 00:18:25:23
Philippa White
That’s no I mean, it just turns into this horrible situation just like everyone just freaking out. You freaking out even more. The four, three year olds in tears fighting against this notion. I don’t want to get all of that just because this ridiculous situation, which, you know, is totally insane that you have basically created, if you flip it on its head.

00:18:25:23 – 00:18:42:10
Philippa White
It’s fascinating because if you like you say, if you do really tap into those human values and if you actually make it a game or you say, come on, we need oh, let’s do it right, I get you. I can put my jacket on faster than you or whatever. And then you sort of do it or however you do it.

00:18:42:18 – 00:19:11:00
Philippa White
Yeah, it’s so much quicker and actually it’s so much better and everyone leaves smiling. And so it’s interesting how again, it’s, it’s understanding yourself, but it’s then it’s understanding that we are connected. It’s those connections and it’s understanding how we feel more for filled. If we’re connected, we feel happy or if we’re with other people, we, we have if we are nice to people, then people feel more connected to us.

00:19:11:01 – 00:19:16:24
Philippa White
It’s that it’s that connection. We are a connected society. We need others.

00:19:17:07 – 00:19:43:22
Jon Duschinsky
One of my favorite quotes is from Mark Twain, and he says, The two most important days of your life, the day you’re born and the day you find out why. Yeah, and I love that because whatever the answers are, the why is is bigger than ourselves. And what that really frames as a kind of a scenario where on one side we have our ego and we have our fears and we have our anxieties and we have trying to stay safe and all of our behavior patterns and being run by five year old.

00:19:44:16 – 00:20:21:11
Jon Duschinsky
And on the other side, we have a purpose which is bigger than us, which we’re in service to, which is not about us, and which only is possible through connection and through creation of movements and through enrollment of others and through tribes, not in the way that we’ve we’ve made tribes into tribalistic kind of divisions in society. But as parts of gathering and belonging and this sort of the real initial sense of what that word stands for, and that space is the space of purpose is the space, I think, of what you’re calling human centric.

00:20:21:11 – 00:20:42:11
Jon Duschinsky
And it’s the space where we are in service to something bigger than ourselves. We are connected to others. We are recognizing that this thing that we’re in service to, we can’t do it on our own. And we are therefore part of a beautiful web network, whatever we wants to call it, of connection, relationship and the possibility of change that comes out of that.

00:20:42:16 – 00:20:48:08
Jon Duschinsky
Yeah. And being able to stand in that space with your three year old but also with your team.

00:20:48:15 – 00:20:49:05
Philippa White
Yeah.

00:20:49:05 – 00:21:10:00
Jon Duschinsky
Is what creates that space of leadership because that three year old scenario and I and I laugh about this and I bring it up in many of the coaching sessions I do with leaders as they’re doing the same thing with that with their teams and that they’re screaming at the three year old, put the snowsuit suit on because the CFO has no paperwork done in time or whatever.

00:21:10:00 – 00:21:11:18
Jon Duschinsky
It’s exactly the same thing.

00:21:11:24 – 00:21:26:19
Philippa White
I mean, it’s so funny because my book is full of stories. I kind of I refuse to write. So many people have said, so what? What frameworks are you are you talking about? You know, what are the frameworks in your book? That’s like, honestly, you won’t find a framework if you’re looking for a framework. Don’t read Return on Humanity.

00:21:27:12 – 00:21:48:24
Philippa White
My book, because you won’t find frameworks. It’s stories. It’s just a whole lot of stories. And some are stories that I refer to about my kids. The learnings that you have in so many daily life situations, be it kids, be it, you know, a connection with somebody walking down the street, whatever it is, they’re exactly the same in the business setting.

00:21:48:24 – 00:22:11:19
Philippa White
And so my book is basically a collection of stories focused on individuals, companies, and then basically the world. What I love to actually understand because I mean, you’ve talked about it and maybe you have already mentioned it, but I’d just want to check, how do you inspire leaders to make more money? By doing more good. What does that look like?

00:22:11:23 – 00:22:14:07
Philippa White
And maybe you can tell a story to bring it to life.

00:22:14:14 – 00:22:38:01
Jon Duschinsky
We need to begin meeting people where they are. And that, I think, is it. It sounds so tough to say it, doesn’t it? But, you know, we spend so much time preaching at other people that there is a lot to be said for kind of going over to the other person is just kind of looking them in the eye, getting connecting with them and taking them by the hand as a way of moving things forward in the world rather than standing on the bully pulpit and just saying this is the way it should be.

00:22:38:13 – 00:22:57:03
Jon Duschinsky
So I will get off my soapbox about that for a minute. But if we start with these universal truths, you know, we’re not good enough and something is wrong. You start with the fact that there are there are things that are in the way. And if you could start to unpack, I call it an operating system, the human operating system, which is programed by us, is a five year old.

00:22:57:12 – 00:23:18:21
Jon Duschinsky
And to just understand what’s going on, it’s like, can you observe yourself without judgment? Just hold up a mirror and see, Oh, I’m doing that thing again. And it’s fascinating. I, I do that thing again all the time. It’s like, Oh yeah, I’m doing that thing again where I say, I’m going to do this and, and, oh, look, it’s been two weeks since I went to the gym.

00:23:18:21 – 00:23:42:02
Jon Duschinsky
I’m doing that thing again on time. Yeah, yeah, we all do it. But. But then we make ourselves run for it. But if we can just get that, we are doing things and we have behavior patterns, those behavior patterns of entirely connected to our operating system. So just to kind of it’s like lifting the hood or the lid on something and just looking inside of the workings of it and going, Oh, so that’s what’s going on.

00:23:42:09 – 00:24:07:10
Jon Duschinsky
And then you can start to say, what is that serving me all? And yes or no, is it serving me? Well, if it’s serving you, then fabulous onwards. But if it’s not, then let’s look at what might be calling you. And this is my brain. The purpose B set of purpose is a fascinating one because when you talk to people about purpose, they’re like, you know, you know, I’ve read all the self-help books.

00:24:07:10 – 00:24:32:07
Jon Duschinsky
Jon and I kind of went and sat on a beach in Bali and sat cross-legged and went home for a few weeks and I haven’t found my purpose. We have it like it’s kind of this Nirvana thing that one needs to go out and between to go find your purpose. But my experience around it is that once purpose is cooling, once each of us have a purpose, and I’ve done this work with thousands of people and every single person I’ve worked with has found a purpose.

00:24:32:07 – 00:25:03:03
Jon Duschinsky
So I the evidence, the empirical evidence shows that this is. So why do we have a purpose? I don’t. And that’s a conversation for another day with people who are much more talented in that kind of theological, philosophical space than me. But we do. And it is I liken it to a call that you’re receiving on your phone, but you’ve actually decided to put your phone on vibrate and then take it down the corridor to the linen closet, stick it in the linen closet under a few towels, close the door, padlock it, kind of seal it up with duct tape.

00:25:03:03 – 00:25:12:08
Jon Duschinsky
Every so often you hear it kind of buzzing away in the background. You’re aware that it’s there, but you do everything you possibly can to not pick it up. And the reason you do everything you can to not pick it up is because it’s really.

00:25:12:08 – 00:25:12:21
Philippa White
Scary.

00:25:13:06 – 00:25:33:15
Jon Duschinsky
To your operating system that is trying to keep you safe. The idea that something bigger than you is wanting you in this world to go and serve it, and that something is calling you to go and do something really big and unpredictable that you can’t control and be part of something that’s not just about you goes completely against all of the programing that you’ve been living in since you were five years old.

00:25:33:17 – 00:25:57:09
Jon Duschinsky
Totally. The thing that I spend probably most time in with leaders is getting them to kind of go down the corridor, open up the linen closet, pick up the phone and listen to what it’s say, and then be okay with the terror that will take some over at that point and start to explore what a life in service of that thing begins to look like and where the barriers start to come up and to just get that thing that keeps us safe is actually the thing that keeps us miserable.

00:25:57:13 – 00:26:03:12
Jon Duschinsky
It’s so beautifully paradoxical. The thing that actually has enabled us survival as a species is the thing that prevents us from getting to the top of the mountain.

00:26:05:10 – 00:26:06:04
Philippa White
Totally right.

00:26:06:04 – 00:26:21:24
Jon Duschinsky
Yeah. And just to get that, that’s a paradox in which we live and that is what is so. So what would you choose to do about it? And almost everybody I’ve worked with will choose to lean into the purpose. When you lean into the purpose, then you can start to unlock a whole different space of possibility in people’s lives because it’s no longer about them.

00:26:22:08 – 00:26:39:15
Jon Duschinsky
And when you can take yourself out of the picture, then it creates this ability to be pleased with yourself that you were talking about. It creates this ability to have a different relationship with yourself. It creates this ability to have a different relationship and connection level with others. Because really what you’re doing is not about you anymore. It’s about the thing that you’re standing for.

00:26:39:20 – 00:27:14:07
Jon Duschinsky
And if you think about all the really great leaders, the people that we kind of in our history books like to write about, the people who stood for something. Yes, the people who stood for a cause. And it’s interesting, my second book was about a series of stories of people who’ve changed the world, but people who are not known, people who are not the Mandelas and the Gandhis, but people who are just ordinary people who have answered the call and have made real impact in their communities and sort of telling the story of how one changes the world from a place of humility and service and purpose.

00:27:14:10 – 00:27:39:10
Jon Duschinsky
That’s the starting point. And they’re making money and good doing good that we live in a in a global society that is for the very most part, capitalistic. And in the capitalistic frameworks, we use money as a mechanism of establishing value of something. So when you’re making more money, what you’re really doing is you’re generating more value. And if you’re generating more value by doing things that benefit people, planet, then you generate profit.

00:27:39:10 – 00:28:12:22
Jon Duschinsky
And so for me, it’s about reframing this idea of profit on one side and saving the world and nonprofits on the other. And so what we do is we create value. And so what does value mean in a purpose driven world? Well, it means value for all. It means value for communities. It means value for the things that we value a planet, our nature, our environment, our ability to go outside and breathe the air, our ability to go and drink water from a little spring as we’re walking through the Lake District and our ability to do all of the things that we truly value as human beings, our ability to be in community, the way

00:28:12:22 – 00:28:36:21
Jon Duschinsky
that we build businesses can serve those things and create value. And through the value creation process can generate more profit. And that takes us into the business case for this, which is is now just beyond undeniable. Before coming on with you today, I sort of printed out a bunch of stats that had this week’s stats because it feels like every week there’s one.

00:28:37:05 – 00:29:02:19
Jon Duschinsky
So what have we got? 41% of U.S. consumers have chosen to shop or purchase from a brand or company because of its social environmental credentials. In the last 30 days, employees are four times more likely to stay at a purpose driven company. Almost half of Gen Z and Millennials employees have now quit jobs because the values of the company did not align with their own values, and nearly half are considering taking a pay cut in order to work for a company that shows their values.

00:29:03:09 – 00:29:22:03
Jon Duschinsky
680 investors now with over $130 trillion in assets, are requiring the companies they invest in to disclose their impact on climate and water through CDP. We could spend the next 45 minutes just looking at the stats, but the business case for this is now is now undeniable. Is this going to be is this a revolution? No. I mean, it is.

00:29:22:16 – 00:29:45:12
Jon Duschinsky
It’s been going on been working in this space, as I know you have for over a decade. But it’s starting to get a level of traction that we’re having these conversations on podcasts like this in ways that we simply weren’t five years ago. And I am really excited about this because fundamentally what my purpose is to connect others with theirs.

00:29:45:24 – 00:30:09:02
Jon Duschinsky
And the reason that that lights me up is because I am absolutely clear that the most, at least from my perspective, the most effective vehicle we have to be able to leave a world to our kids and grandkids that we are not ashamed of is by understanding purpose and by bringing it to life in what I will call for a better word, economics frameworks.

00:30:09:16 – 00:30:20:03
Jon Duschinsky
So purpose driven business and the more purpose driven businesses we have out there, the better chance we have of being able to get to 2050 and not having to go and live on Mars.

00:30:20:10 – 00:30:44:22
Philippa White
I feel it’s really important for leaders to understand their responsibility for helping other people realize their purpose. You know, and that’s a really important part of this puzzle because I’ve heard things like I heard this recently and it’s just crazy to me how someone was trying to hire someone for a role, and it was very clear what that person’s purpose was.

00:30:45:00 – 00:31:03:12
Philippa White
In fact, it would add tons of value to their company. And that person spoke to this individual and was like, okay, basically I want to hire you to do this. And actually that thing that you’re into, it’s a distraction that’s just going to sort of take your eye off the ball. We need you to do this thing. I’m like, Wow, that’s kind of nuts to me.

00:31:03:12 – 00:31:25:02
Philippa White
So it’s there’s an element of us, you know, we have our purpose, but we have to realize that sometimes the system doesn’t allow us to have our purpose. Sometimes we need to challenge the system. Sometimes you need to be so clear within yourself as to who you are, because not everybody’s going to want that. But that’s okay because you need to find the place that wants that, which is again, obviously then it comes down to the company purpose.

00:31:25:02 – 00:31:38:22
Philippa White
Right? And, but we have to be a bit resilient with this. And this is actually where the inner development goals, which Simon put me in touch with you, but also put me in touch with Eric and the development goals because that has everything to do with all of this as well.

00:31:39:08 – 00:32:10:24
Jon Duschinsky
Yeah, absolutely. And so two things to say around leaders helping others realize that purpose. The first thing is we need to be teaching this in schools. Yeah. And in universities. And I was involved in a pilot project last year, which I’m super lit up about to bring the awareness of firstly one’s operating system and actually how we are, what’s actually going on now and then, the ability to connect with one’s purpose and embody it to university students.

00:32:11:18 – 00:32:38:06
Jon Duschinsky
Yeah, it was transformational. It was just this incredible. It was like lighting a firework at watch out because these kids are now going to take on the world. And sure, some of them change courses at uni, but it wasn’t really about that. It was about the fact that giving people who have the energy of 21, 20 to 23 year olds these tools to understand this is actually how your brain works.

00:32:38:16 – 00:33:00:00
Jon Duschinsky
This is actually what’s going on. Yes. You’re being run by a five year old. Yeah. Here is your purpose. Yeah, I’m helping them get to the point of curating it. And what what is that opening up for you in the world and then watching them flying. I came to this stuff in my forties. I wish I had known this when I was 22, so that’s the first thing.

00:33:00:00 – 00:33:25:14
Jon Duschinsky
I think we have a collective responsibility to bring this to anything younger than kind of like grade 12 or a level of the last year of senior school in high school is a challenge because the brain development is not there yet. But A-levels, grade 12/1 term university, second year of university. This is where we should be bringing this stuff because the opportunity for kids to shape their future in a different way, because it’s a purpose driven future, they created themselves, is huge.

00:33:26:03 – 00:33:46:17
Jon Duschinsky
The second thing around leaders, I completely agree with you and one of the things that I bring to all of the companies I work with is clarity that if I’m working with the leadership team on this, my expectation is that we will create a space where every single person in the organization can get a chance to get clear on that purpose.

00:33:47:08 – 00:34:09:05
Jon Duschinsky
Because if you think about this in the terms of sort of how does this actually get delivered in businesses? Well, often it’s in the kind of a coaching space and who gets access to the coaching staff? Well, it’s the C-suite or the senior management folks. It’s the people who who are often in the they’ve got ten, 15, 20 years of experience and they’ve got to that certain level and then they can get the coaching because they deserve it.

00:34:09:20 – 00:34:34:08
Jon Duschinsky
I think we need to democratize this. And one of the things that I’ve been playing with is different economic models to enable everybody to access this kind of work and this kind of learning. And I’m still in the development phase on a lot of this. I just started a cohort with with young entrepreneurs who have stepped into one of the programs around purpose driven leadership journey.

00:34:34:17 – 00:34:57:10
Jon Duschinsky
And I’m doing it on a pay what you can basis so that we can remove financial barriers to connecting with your purpose. We’ll see what happens. I’m piloting it as a way of saying, okay, let’s start to bring this to people who typically couldn’t afford it, weren’t qualified for it, weren’t in the bucket where this was delivered. So I, I think, yes, leaders have a responsibility to help others realize the purpose.

00:34:57:10 – 00:35:15:01
Jon Duschinsky
I think we as societies have a responsibility to educate kids in this stuff. And I think that we have a responsibility to to leverage a lot of the digital technologies that are out there today to enable us to be able to bring this to as many people as possible. So democratizing purpose, I think, is the next flavor of this.

00:35:15:08 – 00:35:17:01
Philippa White
Have you heard about the Nordic secret?

00:35:17:07 – 00:35:18:01
Jon Duschinsky
I have not.

00:35:18:09 – 00:35:21:01
Philippa White
You have not. Okay. Let me just very quickly got.

00:35:21:01 – 00:35:24:24
Jon Duschinsky
A sort of scandi noir thing to it. It sounds very. Yes, those are all good.

00:35:25:08 – 00:35:49:10
Philippa White
It’s it’s amazing. So as I as you know, obviously, Simon very kindly put me in touch with you, but he also put me in touch with Eric Prince from the development goals. And I had a conversation with him recently and he told me about the Nordic secret, which I also didn’t know about. But it has everything to do with what we’re talking about now, but also how you said, you know, as we’re getting to 2050 and we’re not going to have to go to Mars.

00:35:49:20 – 00:36:16:04
Philippa White
And the thinking is based on 150 years ago, Scandinavia was very poor, right? So it was agrarian moving to industrial, but it was very poor and it wasn’t democratic. And the leaders at that time of the region. So it was mostly, from what I understand, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, they understood that at times of significant change, like what we’re facing now individual.

00:36:16:04 – 00:36:40:14
Philippa White
So even as an individual, we know that at any time of significant change you feel a sense of unease, fear, something, you know, a separation or a death in the family or something big. You sort of you feel unstable and you look externally for support. The thing is, is the stronger you are within yourself, the less you you look externally because you’re you’re a lot stronger within yourself.

00:36:40:14 – 00:36:59:23
Philippa White
Right. The leaders of the region during this time of change, they recognize that a society as well, when there’s a lot of change happening, they are very vulnerable and they look externally for support, which is why, you know, authoritarian leaders have a lot of power because they prey on that fear and they come in with that support that people are desperate to have.

00:37:00:03 – 00:37:26:19
Philippa White
So in order to future proof the region at this time of change, from agrarian to industrial, they instilled these Nordic folk high schools for young adults. So the the age that you’re talking about for 3 to 6 months to just learn inner development, specifically self-awareness, and they basically future proof that region because we now know what the region is like now.

00:37:26:19 – 00:37:43:08
Philippa White
It’s incredibly rich, it’s very democratic. And a lot of the big thinking specifically to improve the world comes from that region. What’s interesting is Erik was talking to Obama when Obama was in power and he was at an event. He was there and he said to Erik and I think he also said it to the heads of state at the time.

00:37:43:20 – 00:38:12:13
Philippa White
He said if it wasn’t for the Nordic folk high schools, I wouldn’t be in power, I would be president. So I was like, okay, why? Partly in Tennessee, there was a guy who was aware of the Nordic folk high schools and he created the Highlander Folk School. A woman had just graduated from the Highlander Folk High School, so she was there for however long and she was sitting on a bus and someone said to her, You need to get up where you’re sitting.

00:38:12:13 – 00:38:37:06
Philippa White
You can’t sit here. And she said, I’m not moving. And it was Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King also studied at the Highlander Folk School. So I think as we’re looking at how we get to these sustainable development goals, how we improve the planet and how we can understand our role, all of us have a role to challenge the system and to be a driver of that change.

00:38:37:06 – 00:38:45:09
Philippa White
But I think the only way we can get that is what you’ve just been talking about, is that self-awareness is that purpose. It’s that inner development, isn’t it?

00:38:45:11 – 00:39:13:14
Jon Duschinsky
It is. And I think we’re at a really interesting stage, and I don’t profess to be an expert on this space, but I have done enough work in the space to be dangerous. There is a beautiful confluence in what you’re talking about of very old thinking and very new scientific awareness. And I believe that there’s something quite fascinating about the confluence of those two things.

00:39:14:01 – 00:39:33:17
Jon Duschinsky
My experience, as I’ve been really digging into this over the last 9 to 10 years has been that the aha moments for me have been when I’m reading through a scientific journal and I might get a nugget of something that goes, Oh That’s how that connects to that value that we’ve all known. So that that kind of universal truth that has always been with us.

00:39:33:17 – 00:40:01:10
Jon Duschinsky
But now we’re starting to join Dots in ways that are very interesting and I think create for a, a relatively Cartesian and fear based society, create proof points that help us bring these kind of things into a sort of what I might call sounds a little bit pretentious, but might call a sort of a new renaissance or this idea of inner development in awareness.

00:40:01:17 – 00:40:21:15
Jon Duschinsky
And it has to go through that 18 to 25 burst. That’s where we have to focus. So I love that story that you just shared, and I find it inspiring to wonder what iterations could be creating and what iterations that this will take in future years. Because I do believe that this is basic human curriculum.

00:40:21:18 – 00:40:34:20
Philippa White
Yeah, I agree with you. Totally agree with you. We are coming to the end of the podcast. I can’t believe this time has just flown by. Is there anything else that you’d like to tell our listeners that I haven’t asked you?

00:40:34:20 – 00:40:53:19
Jon Duschinsky
Well, I would like to sort of piggyback on what we were just talking about and put a call out to anybody who is in the education space. If you lead a school, if you lead a university, if you are in a position of influence in an organization where you have 17 to 23, 24 or 25 year olds engaging with you, then let’s have a conversation.

00:40:54:01 – 00:41:20:03
Jon Duschinsky
Yeah because I am in service to this and I really believe that our ability to be able to bring this kind of thinking and transformation is going to help us grow a new generation of leaders who are clear on that purpose and who are able to stand. Because part of this is also about embodying it. You talked about Martin Luther King as somebody who was clear on a purpose, but also knew how to embody it and how to bring others along with them.

00:41:20:03 – 00:41:48:00
Jon Duschinsky
And that is a piece of this that that can be taught. You know, you will have to think about that person who comes into the room with charisma and everybody turns their heads. Well, they’ve clearly got something, quote unquote, that can be taught. That can be taught. And and so that’s the yeah, that would be the call to action that anybody who’s listening that’s in that space, the easiest way would just be to drop me an email on it and get in touch with me and Jon.

00:41:48:01 – 00:42:00:17
Philippa White
I could just keep talking about all of this forever, but thank you for your time and thank you for everything that you’re doing. And I just look forward to us continuing these conversations because I think there’s a lot of overlap for both of those doing.

00:42:01:03 – 00:42:17:13
Jon Duschinsky
Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here. Thank you to all of you who’ve lent us your ears for the last 45 minutes or so. And I hope that something that you’ve gleaned from this conversation will will you to to a more purpose driven life leadership or whatever it is. Thank you so much.

00:42:17:16 – 00:42:19:18
Philippa White
Thank you. Until next time, Jon.

BE A BETTER LEADER

Everyone has the power to inspire, guide, and amplify team success. 

But before you can better lead others, you need to fully understand yourself!

This free tool is a powerful way to reveal the qualities you already have so that you can utilise them to become an even better leader.

Better leaders > better companies > better world.

created with by jessica lynn design
web development by carolyn sheltraw