Richard Medcalf

Author Archives: Richard Medcalf


Is pursuing my calling actually selfish?!

A very honest friend said that his #1 question relating to purpose and direction in life was simply this: “How can I overcome the sense of responsibility to maximise wealth for my family?”

It’s a good question. Many books on finding your dream job or your ideal life treats the entire enterprise as an individualistic endeavour. It’s all about you, they assert. All about finding YOUR place in the intersection of what you love, what there is market for, and what you are good at.

But for those of us with a family to support, it’s clear there are other considerations – and my friend put his finger on a biggie. Might pursuing my calling be actually a selfish endeavour that puts the financial security of my family at risk? Continue reading

Nic Villa: career planning for maximum impact

There are a lot of authors and entrepreneurs out there who tell us that a corporate job is likely to be unfulfilling, meaningless and devoid of impact… and that a better life is to be had as an entrepreneur or a freelancer. Others will tell us that the path to fulfilment is in social enterprise, charity work, church work, community work.

Well, perhaps.

However, there are many paths to impact and to meaning. My friend Nic Villa is great case in how to strategically plan your career for maximum social impact. 

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Tape Breakers Review & Jim Akers Interview

How can you make the biggest impact in the most important areas? This is the question at the heart of Purposeful People, and Jim Akers has written an excellent book on the topic called "Tape Breakers". You'll find my review below in this post.

The book is so relevant to our mission here at Purposeful People that I snagged a 10-minute interview with Jim Akers to find out more. Here's the video, along with 4 must-watch highlights.

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Agile leadership: a new approach – Change-Agent’s Compass

Why you need a new leadership tool

You may be a business, non-profit or church leader; you may be an entrepreneur or someone with a message to spread: but one thing is sure - there is an element of breaking new ground in what you are doing.

But leading breakthrough change is hard. Pioneering is difficult and messy. There are dead-ends and discouragement as well as breakthrough; valleys as well as mountaintops.

There are no maps for the ‘purposeful person’ – the terrain is new and constantly shifting. Reaching your mission or goal is more like an ocean-journey – requiring adaptability and course correction – than a safe, predictable highway.

success journey for pioneer leaders

It's become a cliché, but it's true

And as the leader-pioneer, you know there are many things to do, many practices to adopt, many leadership skills to apply. Many things on your to-do list. And there’s the problem: it can be hard to focus on the right thing to do at the right time.

Normally there is one key thing we need to be doing, but often we don’t recognise it and focus on something else instead. The terrain has shifted but we haven’t responded. And the price of this?

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Find your strengths: Skills & Temperaments

So - knowing your strengths is vital, and you've probably made some mistakes in the past when examining your strengths.  But how should you actually go about capturing a rounded view of your unique talents and assets?

This article looks at the first two areas of the "S.T.R.E.N.G.T.H." framework - Skills and Temperament.  We will look in depth at exactly how to understand your strengths in these two critical areas.  In a subsequent post we will look at the remaining 5 angles.

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Four mental barriers that narrow our life options

There are times when life brings so many options, so many possibilities that it can be hard to choose or even narrow them down. Other times we suffer the opposite: not enough possibilities that really seem attractive and so we can feel trapped in our situation.

Very often we keep doing what we are doing due to a lack of compelling alternatives. Here are four mental barriers that limit us from living into all the possibilities that are open to us. Continue reading

3 steps to answering the ‘where do you see yourself’ question

In the last post, What if you don’t know where you see yourself in 5 years?, I suggested that when we can’t envision what we want to be doing in the next five years, it means that we’re not longer living our professional life within a compelling story. The story that we used to live has ended, and we have yet to inhabit a new story. So … no vision, no goals, no purpose.

So what to do about it? Here are 3 ways to find a better governing story for the next chapter. Continue reading

What if you don’t know where you see yourself in 5 years?

“So where do you see yourself in five years?”

It might be a question at an interview, or discussion with your manager. It might be a discussion with a friend over coffee, or with your spouse over a glass of wine. Once you could confidently answer, now you’re not so sure. In fact, you really don’t know how to respond.

Ouch. What does it mean and what can you do? Here is my take. It might surprise you. Continue reading