Carolyn Tate: The Golden Buddha - Unearthing Purposeful Wisdom

If there’s one thing I’m learning through the journey (well, adventure) that is Decoding Purpose, it’s that the more I learn about the pursuit of purpose, the more I realise I don’t know. Every conversation is unearthing new perspectives on what this pursuit looks like for different people. Some days I’m not sure whether I’m making life easier, or giving myself and our Decoding Purpose listeners more things to do! This week on the podcast, I spoke to accomplished marketer, author and the incredibly genuine soul that is Carolyn Tate.

As a marketer by trade, turned author, with a passion for purpose-digging, writing, speaking, teaching and community building, Carolyn is using her 20 years in large organisations such as Westpac, Merrill Lynch and running her own business, to generate big conversations about our personal sense of purpose and the way this interacts with organisational purpose. Her company, Carolyn Tate & Co. is an education and publishing company dedicated to unearthing a higher purpose in people and organisations. Carolyn believes that the purpose of business is to serve the greater good and that profit should be the by-product, not the single-minded goal.

“Leaders are getting sidetracked into thinking that purpose is about being a good corporate citizen and corporate social responsibility, but if you’re actually extracting value from one stakeholder in order to make a contribution to charity, that’s still not purpose. Purpose needs to drive all stakeholders. A good purpose statement and a good purpose isn’t just about employee motivation, it’s that every stakeholder can see that purpose and is committed to working towards it for the good of everybody.”


What I loved about interviewing Carolyn is while she is certainly an expert of purpose in business, her approach to purpose looks at the unfolding or rediscovery of purpose. She explores the idea that we are all born with purpose as an innate part of who we are, and that it is conditioning, belief systems and cultural paradigms that lead us to burying our purpose away into the unconscious parts of who we are. With that in mind, how do we go about remembering who we are...and rediscovering the unique purpose we were born with.

In today's conversation Carolyn and I discuss:

  • The cultural paradigms and beliefs that can cause us to bury or forget our purpose

  • The role leaders can play in unearthing personal purpose in order to activate organisational purpose

  • What a business can learn about purpose from the cycles of nature

  • The differences between purpose and passion

  • The role of purpose in influencing decision making

  • How to differentiate between purpose and distractions

  • And finally we end with a beautiful meditation to assist you in unearthing your golden buddha. Just a warning if you are driving your car, maybe save the last few minutes for a quieter time!

With her own unique story of having to work hard to find her anchor in writing and communicating, Carolyn and I unpacked some of the elements to weaving together personal and corporate purpose, and I was reminded time and time again as Carolyn told countless stories, that discovering your purpose takes work, takes intention and demands attention. We even finished our podcast today with a quiet moment of gold, a gift for anyone who makes it to the end, but I won’t spoil the surprise - you’ll have to listen and find out.

Follow the link below to take a listen to Episode 7 of Decoding Purpose with Carolyn Tate.

CAROLYN.jpg