"Definiteness of purpose is the starting point for all achievement" W Clement Stone
Marcus Rashford has been named in the top 100 most influential people by Time Magazine.
He is one of the outstanding young sports talents in the world, he has been for a number of years. He plays for one of the biggest sports organisations in the world and has millions of followers across his social channels.
There are plenty of other talented sports people in the world who have achieved similar feats in their careers, but they haven't all featured on the front cover of Time Magazine.
When I met him as an 18 year old who had just had his first breakthrough season, his family were already interested in expanding the influence around him, hence the introduction to someone like myself, but it was far too early to predict the positive impact he would have on the lives of millions of people.
If you have followed his story at all (and let's face it, it's hard to miss it) you will know about his campaign to end child food poverty.
He has used his platform and his profile to not only raise awareness, but to influence decisions that will have a massive impact on thousands of children's lives (4 million meals from my last count).
And why has he done that? Why him, specifically?
His own personal story and experience as a child, struggling for food.
And this inspired him to use his platform and make a difference. It meant something to him because of his own personal experiences.
We are all shaped by life's events, some more than others.
But I am sure he is not the only athlete (with a platform) with this experience, yet he DID something about it. He made a decision to be a catalyst for change, he went out of his way to support people, to connect and have conversations, to campaign and fight for what he believed was right.
And this is why he is being recognised in this way.
Last year, here in Manchester, local artist Akse, created a mural of Rashford on the side of a cafe in Withington. The words that accompany the image are telling:
Pain is often a bigger drive for change for most people.
If not harnessed correctly, it can be destructive and unhealthy. But there are countless stories of people who have created ideas, businesses and opportunities out of negative events.
We all have that power to change and to make a difference.
Emotion is a huge driver of human behaviour and getting people emotionally engaged is key to driving change at every level.
This is something I delve into on my Leadership Programmes - understanding how to get people emotionally engaged is the key to driving better performance.
When we care about something, we will do more and give more of ourselves.
Finding that purpose within yourself is really important to not just performing at a higher level, but also being more fulfilled. This is one of the reasons I enjoy what I do, helping my clients to really get in touch with what drives them - what are they passionate about.
When we do this, change becomes much easier.
A few years ago I helped one sales team to really connect the dots with how their product would save lives and get really connected to the importance of their role. Once they did this, the previous concerns they had about hitting targets started to fade and they smashed their sales targets by 168%.
It's not easy to stay focused on this and always remember it though, even when we care.
We live in a busy world, lots of demands and change happening every day. Millions of bits of information being thrown at us from all angles - focus is more at risk than ever before!
How clear are you about your passion and purpose?
How much time do you focus on it?
How emotionally engaged are your team?
If that is something you would like help with, developing extra focus and purpose, then please send me a message and we can set up a time to talk.
Thanks for reading,