Episode 012

Cracked Open to a
Greater-Than-You Purpose


The most fulfilled innovators and influencers who lead lives of mastery and meaning—at some point get cracked open by wonder, get cracked open to a purpose greater than themselves.

Today, Jeffrey reflects on Season 1 of Tracking Wonder, looking back at his conversations with leaders, change-makers, artists and creatives to identify the wonder switch in each of their stories, those moments when they were opened up to a greater-than-you purpose that drives the work they do today.

Jeffrey begins with Susan Piver’s experience of being cracked open in love after a serious car accident by way of a surprising connection with another person. He reminds us of Caroline Adams Miller’s inspiration—people with the grit to do extraordinary things in their ordinary lives. Jeffrey speaks to the challenge of ‘standing in love’ with your big idea, revisiting Jonathan Fields and Dorie Clarke’s discussion around the need for authentic community. He also covers the concept of conscious leadership, reflecting on Mike Erwin and Todd Henry’s respective takes on sourcing bravery from within and leading with a mindset of service. Listen in as Jeffrey highlights Marty Neumeier’s theory on doing the ‘right thing’ that leads us to beauty, cohesiveness and order and learn why wonder is the key to unlocking our compassion—and ultimately making decisions with an eye to the future.

Key Takeaways

[7:50] Susan Piver’s experience being cracked open in love

  • Boyfriend served as lifeline after serious car accident
  • ‘Surprised to have someone reach through haze—and reach back’

[11:50] The kind of grit that inspires Caroline Adams Miller

  • Uplifted by people doing extraordinary things in ordinary lives
  • Awed by those who do what’s necessary without fuss, fanfare

[15:48] The challenge of ‘standing in love’ with your big idea

  • Requires deep drive to survive challenges
  • Impact assumes different forms

[18:36] Why the world needs brands to build authentic community

  • Sense of belonging impacts cognitive ability, health
  • Movements bring people together around shared set of values

[23:30] The concept of conscious leadership

  • Bravery comes from within
  • Lead with mindset of service, elevate people around you

[27:06] Why we have an ethical responsibility to lead with our ideals

  • Short-term, selfish good vs. long-term, broadly beneficial good
  • Make choices that further human evolution to beauty, coherence and order

[38:30] The role of wonder in evoking empathy and compassion for others

  • Need each other’s perspectives to open heart
  • Look beyond cubicle-sized view to impact on future


Each week brings you in-depth conversations with leaders, stories from change-makers, and provocative ideas from artists and scientists – all designed to inspire you to shape your best work with more possibility, impact, and – yes – wonder.