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The Power of Purpose: Creating Meaning in Your Life and Work Hardcover – July 12, 1997

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

The Power of Purpose: Creating Meaning in Your Life and Work, by respected life/work planning specialist Richard Leider, is a lofty yet down-to-earth guide for people struggling to find their true professional callings. Developed through the author's considerable personal experience and extensive interviews conducted over the past 20 years, it's designed to serve as a jumping-off point for those who'd truly like to combine their "own unique gifts" with "the needs of the world" to carve out a vocational niche that's both individualized and highly rewarding. A helpful guide to using the material in a reading group is included.


As we enter the new millennium, most of us are searching for deeper meaning in our lives-some reliable compass point to guide us ahead.... The Power of Purpose teaches you to embrace the complex questions life is asking you. Find your 'why' and your 'what' and your 'how' will become clear. -- Frederic M. Hudson, Ph.D., Founder and President, The Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara

Dick Leider draws a road map for a life of service and improving the lives of others. -- Walter F. Mondale, former United States Vice President

The Power of Purpose addresses the key issue for many people's lives these days: wanting to feel that their life here on earth is not meaningless. I commend this book to all those seeking help in identifying their mission and calling. -- Richard N. Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute?

What are your gifts? How can you best serve? What are you here to do and be in this life? These are the questions Dick Leider raises and helps you answer in The Power of Purpose-a practical guide to finding and fully embracing your calling in life. -- Eric Utne, Founder, Utne Reader

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1st edition (July 12, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576750213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576750216
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,639,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Legendary Coach, Bestselling Author, Speaker

Founder and Chairman of The Inventure Group, a coaching and consulting firm with offices in Minneapolis, MN, Richard has created a wide array of programs and experiences for clients, such as AARP, Caterpillar, Ericsson, Habitat for Humanity, and MetLife.

Richard is consistently rated as one of the top executive coaches in the world. He is ranked by Forbes as one of the "Top 5" most respected executive coaches, by Linkage as one of the "Top 50" executive coaches, and by the Conference Board as a "legend in coaching."

He is an Executive Fellow at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and is a guest lecturer in the Harvard Business School and Duke Corporate Education.

Richard is the author of nine books, including three best sellers, and his work has been translated into 21 languages. Repacking Your Bags and The Power of Purpose are considered classics in the personal growth field. Claiming Your Place at the Fire and Something to Live For, have been touted as breakthrough books on "positive aging." He is a contributing author to many leading edge coaching books, including: Coaching for Leadership, The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching, Executive Coaching for Results, The Leader of the Future, and The Organization of the Future.

Richard holds a Master's Degree in Counseling and is a Nationally Certified Master Career Counselor. He is a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing where he is a founder of The Purpose Project. As a commentator on "life work" challenges, Richard appears in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA Today, and on PBS public
television, NPR public radio and other media sources. Along with his professional pursuits, Richard leads annual Inventure Expedition walking safaris in Tanzania, East Africa.

A pioneer in the field of "positive aging," Richard's work has received recognition from the Bush Foundation, from which he was awarded a Bush Fellowship. He was named a "Distinguished Alumni" by Gustavus Adolphus College, to the "Hall of Fame" at Central High School, and received
the Fielding Outstanding Scholar for Creative Longevity and Wisdom award.

Richard is arguably one of the most in‐demand coaches in the world. For over 30 years he has helped more than 100,000 people from over 50 corporations discover the power and possibility to pursue life's big question: "What gets you up in the morning?"

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Good Intention on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I agree with other reviewers about positive points in this book, but what bothers me is the examples given : they all seem to be very special people : trainers, founders of training centers, vice-presidents of companies,....

This confirms obstacle 2 as given by the author : "only a few special people have true purpose in their lives". I think we have a need for purpose in our lives, even if we are a gardener, a pizza boy, a cleaning lady, a sweatshop youngster sewing T-shirts in Laos, an office clerk doing standard routine work. It is a pity that we find no such examples in this book. From the book we get the impression that the only way to find a purpose is to quit our present job and to become a trainer, writer, etc... but there are also other jobs to fill, I think. Moreover, if everybody goes into training and/or writing, these jobs will loose their financial attractiveness, I suspect.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I happened upon the 1985 copy of this book, in a used bookstore, and have read this 3 times, to draw out more of my worthiness, more of my hidden strengths, and to do some things that up to reading this, I secretly believed that I couldn't do. This book is for every human being. I had spent years asking myself what my mission in life was, and years denying myself my right to my mission. Now I have a mission that defines everything that I do, and don't do. It empowers me to separate who I am from who my interlocutor is, to seek kindred spirits, and to never stop growing, according to who I am, and where I am "traveling." I am eternally grateful for this book, for being my guide to my rising above a level of betrayal that others would have prefered I define myself as being limited to.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Richard J. Leider believes everyone needs to find an individual sense of unique purpose. When you have this sense of purpose, you can use it as a central core of direction to guide your life and give it meaning. The book is simply written, easy to understand and targeted to a general audience. However, it also seems quite repetitious, in that the same ideas are explained many different ways. Some of these concepts are quite familiar, echoing some basic ideas about the importance of having a sense of mission, path, and goals, much like Laurie Beth Jones' book, The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement.... Finally, while some readers may respond deeply to Leider's spiritual and religious references, others may find them problematic, given the split in the business community about spirituality in the workplace. We... recommend this book for readers who have not yet considered this mission-focused dimension of life planning and for managers who wish to understand this perspective.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
The book's premise was so promising -- how to find work that fulfills your higher calling. The book just never fulfills that promise. Just a lot of unmemorable writing about how you will be more fulfilled if your work is meaningful. Well, that's not a shocker. But how about some insight into how to find or how to create meaningful work. For such a deep and spiritual topic, the thinking was very superficial. The author merely rewrites what he has read elsewhere. No new thinking. Readers would be better off reading some of the books he recommends in his bibliography such as Flow and the books by Viktor Frankl. I was also left with the icky feeling that the real point of this book was to sell you on his company's feel good workshops. A real disappointment.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By on February 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is not for those repulsed by references to spirituality or religion. If looked at with an open mind and desire to apply the principles taught in the book, it is a useful read.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1998
Format: Hardcover
From a simplistic standpoint, Richard Leider's book, The Power of Purpose, puts forth the maximum that a life lived purposfully is a life well lived. Not exactly an Earth shattering proclimation; however, I found the way he presented the context in which to live such a life to be inspired. .
Throughout the text, Leider presents a systematic approach to explore ones own purpose. In part, he does this through a series of deceptively simply questions which push the reader to think about their current state and envision a greater possiblity for the future.
One caution, anyone who believes we are on this planet for the sole purpose of self gratification, may be put off by Leider's references to the need for spirituality. All others can interprete his comments in the context of their own spiritual life. Leider does not recommend any one spiritual belief system over an other.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lee Say Keng on October 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have read many of Richard Leider's books, & among them I consider 'The Power for Purpose' as the most influential on my personal growth. I have read this particular one in the late eighties/early nineties - about the time I started to ponder about what I want to do with the second half of my life. I was then a successful corporate rat, working in quiet desperation - looking damned good but actually going nowhere.

The 'Power of Purpose' is not another book about goal setting. It's a workbook to help you think through & decide whether you want to choose to lead a purposeful, productive & meaningful life. In fact, the parts that attracted me most at that time were these provoking questions posed at the beginning of the book:

- Is your work rich & purposeful?
- Do you see yourself, through your work, as making a difference in the world?
- Do you view most work days with a sense of enthusiasm?
- Have you developed your won philosophy of life & success?
- Do you feel a sense of meaning & purpose for your life/
- Are you living your life now - or hoping that life will work out someday?

It comes complete with self-assessment questionnaires (especially the 'Aliveness Questionnaire' & the 'Working on Purpose Questionnaire'), checklists, & exercises. I recall I had spent considerable effort & time in using them to probe my life during that period of time. Together with a few other books (including Frederic Hudson's, Richard Bolles', Marsha Sinetar's & Joe Dominguez's), this book has been instrumental in creating abundant opportunities for doing what I love & loving what I do. Many thanks to you, Richard!
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