After months of leading and nurturing a team of talented young designers in Peru, I started finding it increasingly challenging to tailor my professional feedback in a strategic yet personal way. Without knowing where each of my team members was in their career or where they wanted to go, it was hard for me to make decisions as a leader.
I quickly learned that I wasn’t the only one with this challenge: there were other team members with the same concerns. That’s where I saw the opportunity to empower every member of the organization with a simple yet effective blueprint that could help everyone grow purposefully. I created the Purpose Blueprint.
After prototyping and testing this idea with designers, I opened up the Purpose Blueprint to other members of the team in Peru. Since then, the Purpose Blueprint has helped professionals from design, marketing, engineering, and product in multiple countries to grow and make a greater impact with their work by allowing them to uncover new opportunities that connect them back to their own purpose.
The Purpose Blueprint will help you answer three questions about yourself: why, what, and how.
Before you continue, download the Purpose Blueprint and fill it in as you read this article.
1. Why do you exist?
Start with your own why: what’s your purpose? Answer this question in a short sentence that uses plain language. It has to move you, feel natural and authentic, but most importantly, inspire you to action. Make sure the phrase is catchy and easy to remember.
Uncovering your own purpose is the key to your personal and professional success. Defining your purpose statement can be daunting, but think of it as an ongoing process. It doesn’t have to be set in stone. You can refine the language as you learn and grow.
2. What would you like to achieve?
It’s challenging for most of the people I know — myself included — to think about what we want the future version of ourselves to be, and what goals we should have in that uncertain future. For this section in the Purpose Blueprint, try getting less detailed as you move away from today in the timeline. A great rule of thumb is 3-2-1: start with three items on the first list, then two items on the second list, and finish with one on the last list.
Begin the Goals section by listing three things you’d like to achieve professionally in the next six months. Make sure they are measurable and, most importantly, achievable. Don’t get too ambitious: six months fly by pretty darn fast!
Now take a leap forward and think of one professional goal you’d like to achieve in two years from now. This question could help: If there’s one thing you’d want to achieve in two years from now, what would it be?
Finally, go back to the middle “In 1 year” section, and write a list of two things you’d like to achieve in the next year. Think of these things as the bridge achievements that will help you get to the two-year goal you previously defined.
3. How do you start?
You start by learning. That’s why the last section of the Purpose Blueprint is based on the 70:20:10 model for learning and development.
In the next 6 months:
● 70% of your time should be invested in learning by working. The only way to become better at what you do is by practicing your craft. What two skills that you use in your day-to-day would you like to improve?
● 20% of your time should be invested in learning from others. Identify two things you would like to learn from others, and name two people who could become your mentor or peer-coach. Don’t be afraid to have a coffee chat with them and openly state that you want to learn from them.
● 10% of your time should be invested in “formal” learning. What courses, seminars, conferences or learning events would make more sense for you and your future?
Remember, these learning opportunities should be focused on helping you achieve your goals for six months and one year from now.
Now the power is in your hands, and you can start taking action on your goals and career today.
It’s good practice to review your Purpose Blueprint on a monthly basis and create a new one every six months. The future is always uncertain, but I hope this simple blueprint will help you continue to reinvent yourself and grow with purpose.
The Purpose Blueprint was possible thanks to the Design Team in Peru. Special thanks to Gonzalo Loayza for inspiring me to create this blueprint, Miguel Castillo for helping me make it more actionable, Rafael Delgado-Aparicio for being a true believer since day zero and broadly testing it with his teams, and Lucho Torres for encouraging me to explore new opportunities.