DiscoverThe CTO PodcastGoing First: Leading with Purpose in an Overthinking World with Nell Derick Debevoise
Going First: Leading with Purpose in an Overthinking World with Nell Derick Debevoise

Going First: Leading with Purpose in an Overthinking World with Nell Derick Debevoise

Update: 2024-05-22


Etienne is joined in this episode by Nell Derick Debevoise, the founder of Inspiring Capital which helps leaders grow their business with purpose and build impactful legacies. Nell has advised leaders at American Express, Cisco, Google and more, and she focuses on expanding impact, growing businesses and building legacies that are inclusive, anti-racist and sustainable. 

Etienne and Nell discuss East Coast vs. West Coast cultures, with Nell reflecting on her experiences in New England and California, and how these cultural differences shape leadership styles and priorities. They also discuss the importance of purposeful leadership to overcoming the paralysis of overthinking, with Nell offering practical advice drawn from her book, Going First: Finding the Courage to Lead Purposefully and Inspire Action.

Etienne and Nell also candidly dive into the challenges and rewards of purpose-driven work, sharing personal anecdotes and reflections on their journeys. From navigating the complexities of international service work to empowering local communities, they discuss strategies for maximizing impact within one's sphere of influence.

Listen in to gain valuable insights into aligning your personal values with your professional endeavors, overcoming self-doubt and insecurity, and fostering collaboration within purpose-driven organizations. Whether you're a seasoned leader seeking to reignite your passion or you’re a newcomer navigating the intersection of purpose and profit, this episode offers actionable tips and insight for making a meaningful impact in today's world!

Time Stamps:[1:52 ] - Etienne discusses having walked the East Coast before settling in California.[4:09 ] - Nell, influenced by New England, values a blend of progressive and traditional ideals, particularly regarding nature.[5:49 ] - Etienne misses seasons and makes note of his children's unfamiliarity with weather changes.[8:03 ] - Nell reflects on what stood out to her the most from her last dinner meeting with Etienne.[11:19 ] - Nell highlights the superficiality of American identity, contrasting it with the authenticity observed in European culture.[13:16 ] - Hear how Nell's international work in human development emphasized holistic, purpose-driven development.[15:43 ] - The essence of "teaching the right people" is leading purposefully and inspiring action through everyday courage.[17:12 ] - What motivated Nell to write her book?[20:22 ] - Etienne contemplates bridging the gap between massive enterprises and individual humanity, especially in education.[22:34 ] - Nell addresses the challenge of maintaining purpose amid complexity, urging acknowledgment and focused persistence.[24:25 ] - Nell advocates for Seth Godin's idea of "niching up," making a localized impact within one's sphere of influence.[27:06 ] - Etienne reflects on the desire to address grand challenges all at once, advocating for steady but meaningful impact.[28:26 ] - Aligning actions with purpose, whether asking for donations or engaging directly with communities, is crucial.[31:10 ] - Etienne expresses frustration with inaction despite ample support and opportunity to make a difference.[33:05 ] - Hear Etienne share an inspiring story of community transformation sparked by a small investment as he laments his own inaction.[35:15 ] - Nell discusses how insecurity can hinder bold action and impact, emphasizing the need to be confident in one's goals.[38:42 ] - Nell suggests framing the past five years positively, emphasizing meaningful change and exciting progress.[39:36 ] - Stephen Covey's concept differentiates between our concerns and what we can influence, highlighting impactful actions.[42:25 ] - Recognizing the scope of influence involves not just identifying issues but also effective solution delivery.[44:22 ] - Nell plans to leverage her upcoming trip to San Diego for revenue-generating opportunities.[47:18 ] - Learn about a key tool that Nell uses to assess individuals' energy for team or project contributions which enhances collaboration.

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Contact Etienne: Website / YouTube / LinkedIn / X / Instagram / The CTO Podcast WebsiteContact Nell: LinkedIn / PurposeFusedNell’s Book

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Going First: Leading with Purpose in an Overthinking World with Nell Derick Debevoise

Going First: Leading with Purpose in an Overthinking World with Nell Derick Debevoise

Nell Derick Debevoise