Called to Be: Finding Your Purpose

Rev. Carla McClellanRev. Carla McClellan, a certified life coach, leadership expert, and speaker, empowers others with skills to develop self-awareness and discover their purpose.  In this article, guest blogger Carla explains how leaders can find balance and cultivate emotional intelligence.

To become is to answer a deep calling from within you.  It is a willingness to be open-minded and open-hearted in the face of all circumstances.

We live in a fast-paced world.  Information bombards us constantly and we often find ourselves drained and overwhelmed by our to-do lists.  There are so many requests for our input in leadership that unless we are clear about our purpose and mission, we find ourselves spinning throughout our days.

We long for peace of mind and a sense of balance.  As leaders, life requires us to master specific skills in order to meet the demands of our organizations, families, and friends.  In order to be effective, we are called to demonstrate what has been termed Emotional Intelligence (EI) by Daniel Goleman, best-selling author of Altered Traits.  These skills determine the success of a leader.

Leaders aren’t born.  They practice learning how to skillfully communicate with others.  Leaders who are emotionally mature have developed deep listening skills.  They are confidant and decisive.  In difficult circumstances, they know what to say and how to say it without offending or upsetting others.  They are caring, considerate, and inspire people with hope and optimism.  We demonstrate emotional intelligence when we help others focus on possibilities.

Hierarchical models of “top-down” leadership won’t work anymore.  We must work collaboratively for the purpose of making a difference in the world.

“People who want to be effective and create impact as leaders need to connect with an inexhaustible source of power,” explains Goleman.  Whether that work involves dismantling systems of racism, undoing the patriarchy or building power in community, the tools they learn to use go far beyond the ‘hard skills.’”  Goleman explains leaders must develop the “harder skills” of emotional intelligence, including mindfulness, self and community care, authenticity, and the capacity to do deep listening.

I recommend throwing away the to-do list and develop your to-be list.  Life flows from the inside out.  Successful people demonstrate certain qualities which inspire greater levels of engagement from people.  With today’s uncertainty and diminishing resources, we are called to be more creative.  I am not talking about doing more but inspiring more engagement in relationships.  Without knowing our “why” to life and to our world, we get lost in all of our responsibilities.  We must be clear about who we are, what our gifts are, what support we would like, and engage with others in new, creative ways.

Life requires us to be more adaptable to change and more open to support.  It is not about saying more, but deeply listening to others.  Saying “yes” to change is uncomfortable for all of us even when the change is pleasurable because it calls us to grow and be even more present and engaged in life.  We no longer can ignore what we don’t want to face.  Change show us we are not really in control.

Through change and collaboration, new possibilities emerge.  We must allow more conversations to take place within the groups we serve.  The wisdom of the group is more important than our particular insight.  We allow this wisdom to emerge by being more present to our principles and each other.  Relationships are our mirror and reflect where we are being called to grow.  Our principles practiced together produce certainty in uncertain times.

Principles are simple. We must learn to integrate our principles into every aspect of our being.  We must demonstrate them so people recognize what we stand for and on.  As successful leaders, our role is to inspire, empower, and serve.  We are called to model how to show our love and compassion in difficult times and act from that compassion.  Principles are statements of truth upon which we base our beliefs and our behavior.

When we answer the call to life, we embody our best selves.  My coaching tip for purposeful living is to ask yourself these questions as you begin each day:

  • Am I willing to be empathetic, aware, present, expansive, resilient, authentic, and empowering today in order to produce an extraordinary result?
  • Am I willing to observe rather than analyze?
  • Am I willing to tell the truth even if it’s uncomfortable?
  • Am I willing to ask for support?
  • Am I willing to let go of having to be in control?
  • Am I willing to learn the lesson right before me?

We have been called to be leaders at this time, so rest assured that what is wanting to emerge is a new way of doing it.  One that calls for cooperation and collaboration.  Let’s have fun!

Let us find the answers together because our truth tells us it is already done in consciousness.  Let’s vibrate our energy harmoniously while we discover what lies ahead.

And remember to ask for support.  We are here for each other.

Rev. Carla McClellan is a PCC certified coach/trainer/speaker. She loves developing leadership skills and supporting people who want to live lives filled with passion, purpose and possibilities. She offers practical ways of using universal principles. She is a featured Life Coach for a local TV show and her alternative ministry, Unity Pause for Renewal, supports ministers taking time for self-care.  Visit to learn more.

Are you a leader?  Use these suggestions from 10 Top Tips to Be a Successful Leader to inspire others.

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Get specific and clear about your direction.  Write a Personal Purpose Statement.