Shannon Schuyler (PWC) | The 2019 MAKERS Conference
Shannon Schuyler, Principal, Chief Purpose Officer & Responsible Business Leader at PwC, talks about the importance of finding fulfillment at work and in your life from 2019 #MAKERSConference at Monarch Beach Resort.
- Please welcome Shannon Schuyler. [MUSIC PLAYING] - (SINGING) Hey, lips, say hello to me. I'm a girl on a mission. I don't need your permission. Singing 1, 2, 3. Baby, this is me. SHANNON SCHUYLER: Hello, everybody. So, I get the great pleasure to talk to you a little bit about purpose. And as you can see, my title is chief purpose officer, which is actually a pretty cool title. But very early on, I realized a couple of things. First, I looked around to see who else was called chief purpose officer, and I didn't find anyone, and so I thought I wouldn't have a lot of people to do drinks with. So that was a negative. And then I thought but nobody then knows what a chief purpose officer should do, which was pretty good, and nobody could tell me I was doing it wrong because nobody knew what right looked like, also very good. So I went into this very positively. And I knew overall what purpose is really about for business is you want to bring humanity into the products and services that you have to optimize your impact. And your impact these days need to go far beyond revenue generation, but what are you doing for society? Which makes great sense because at PwC, our purpose is around building trust in society and solving important problems. It's about moving from being transactional to being transformational. But the other thing I learned very quickly is when you think of purpose-- and how many of you, when you think of purpose, you got to think about personal purpose, right? It's hard to say, all right, I'm going to think about a corporate purpose but not let that word kind of hang internally. And so I worried that somebody would say, what is your purpose? And I would be like, I have no idea. And so I did kind of my own journey of "Eat, Pray, Love", and so I took a time, couple, two weeks, trying to figure out what was my purpose so I could tell people when they asked me? And that meant I did some wine tasting and I did some retail therapy and I did some Orangetheory, and I was like, I'm going to find my purpose. I'm going to find it. And after two weeks I was just sore, and I found nothing. So, I was getting ready. And women, as you know, sometimes your wallet needs to match your purse, and so you change everything, right? It drives my husband crazy. So I was going through changing my purse and my wallet, and my wallet fell out. And suddenly I realized I had these playing cards that were in my wallet, and suddenly I realized what my purpose was. So at the age of 22 I put one of these first cards in my wallet when my mother passed away. Over the next five years, the women in my family passed away-- aunts, grandmothers. The women who were a part and led this matriarchal family, who always sat at the head of the table were no longer there. So all of the passion and strength and sassiness and classiness and joy and disruption, that was now part of me. And so all of this time, after all these decisions that I've been making, it's because I'm living their legacy. They are my true north. They are my purpose. So now I take all of that back and I get back into the firm and say, well, what do we need to do? Well, the first thing we need to do is figure out what people's purposes are. This isn't just about the firm's purpose. We have to figure out how these things intersect, how they come together. And in doing that, we did a study and we said people realize that what purpose was was a sense of fulfillment. They wanted to be fulfilled. Go figure. I work 10, 12, 14 hours a day. You want to feel fulfilled, right? Totally logical, but we weren't there. People want a sense of meaning and a sense of belonging so that they can actually be transformational, but they need an opportunity to figure out where that is because 7 out of 10 people will now leave their organization if they do not have that sense of fulfillment. Good news-- 80% of employees out there truly believe it's their responsibility to find it, and 40% own up to the fact that it's them themselves who are keeping themselves from realizing what it is. But we have to create a culture that allows people to find themselves, to find what fulfills them. Whether that's through purpose assessments, other tools, whether that's saying this is not about just training you to learn a skill. This is about why that skill is important, why that skill can help you and help the organization move forward. We live in a time that is incredibly uncertain, and we have complex tensions that either can ignite or extinguish our courage to act. I believe that your courage to act is based upon your knowing what fulfills you, about you knowing what your purpose is, and all of us deserve to go on that journey, whatever that journey looks like, and frankly, to be able to go on that journey far before I did 24 years into my career. And all of us together as leaders also have the responsibility to ensure we take everybody else on that journey, that we are the ones probing to find out what fulfills you. How do you feel like you belong? What is your purpose? What is your North Star? And I know now what I didn't know before is those four women, they have guided me to make the decisions that I make. I might have made different decisions, better decisions if I had thought about my purpose before, but nonetheless, that North Star will be with me forever. So find yours. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING] - (SINGING) Feel it. Say hello to me. I'm a girl on a mission. I don't need your permission. Singing 1, 2, 3. Baby--