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This is Capitalism: Up Close, Inspired, Explained

May 12, 2021

 Patricia O’Connell interviews Alaina Love, CEO of Purpose Linked Consulting, about passion and purpose. They discuss how passions express purpose, the ten archetypes of passion, and about learning your top three passion archetypes. They explore how to link an organization to a meaningful purpose.


Listen in to learn more about your passions and purpose and how to express them in your life and career.

Key Takeaways:

[:22] Patricia O’Connell introduces Alaina Love, CEO of Purpose Linked Consulting, and her message of following passion with purpose, for individuals, companies, and teams.

[1:15] Patricia welcomes Alaina Love to CEO Stories on This is Capitalism.

[1:26] Alaina explores what it means for an individual to have purpose and passion. She begins by sharing her experience of walking away from an executive opportunity at a large organization where she had been climbing the ladder of success.

[3:58] Alaina had to ponder to discover why being successful and being rewarded for the work she was doing was not enough for her. She didn’t want to spend the next 85,000 work hours doing work she didn’t see as deeply purposeful. Alaina began to realize that purpose and passion are connected.

[5:07] Alaina has interviewed people for 20 years about finding purpose in work. Most people spend their lives trying to find out exactly what their purpose is. Most people believe they will be satisfied sometime in the future, after finding their purpose.

[6:26] Alain found that people who have figured out how to weave who they are into their roles, where their passions can “come out to play every day,” are the folks who feel that their roles were aligned to a deeper purpose that they are here to achieve.
[6:50] After many years of wrestling with this issue, Alaina realized the passions people exhibit are the outward expression of the deeper purpose that drives them.

[7:43] With researchers from the University of Michigan, Alaina developed The Passion Profiler, which identifies how a person resonates with each of ten passion archetypes that are present to a degree in each of us. It is useful for us to understand what our top three passions are, and how their strengths and vulnerabilities drive our behavior.

[8:27] The ten passion archetypes arose from Alaina’s structured interviews with high-potential folks from fourteen industry segments across the globe. Alaina observed that certain patterns of behavior showed up consistently, over and over again, across industries. Alaina had been seeing these patterns throughout her corporate career.

[9:33] Alaina found these behaviors organized themselves into ten categories. Through her research, she identified what each of these passions looked like.

[9:59] The ten archetypes are Creator, Conceiver, Discoverer, Processor, Teacher, Connector, Altruist, Healer, Transformer, and Builder. Alaina describes each archetype.

[11:40] Understanding your passions provides you with a roadmap to understand where you can contribute beyond your skill set alone.

[11:57] Alaina suggests designing our organizations to leverage the passions our team members are wired with, giving them opportunities to utilize their passions in their assigned roles, and putting them in a cultural environment where their values are honored. This extends beyond hiring someone for a particular set of skills.

[12:27] Alaina tells how an individual can benefit from the knowledge of their top three passion archetypes. When an individual applies their passions to the role they hold, their level of engagement becomes higher, and their role becomes an expression of who they are more than a responsibility they have to accomplish.

[13:05] The team leader, with a knowledge of the passion archetypes of their team members, understands each of those team members on a much more intimate level. A leader can put the right people on the team to create the correct passion composition.

[14:05] A Gallup poll found that only about 30% of employees are genuinely engaged at work. Alaina thinks that is directly correlated to a lack of understanding of passion and purpose. Alaina also mentions the Happiness Curve and how it applies to the drop in work engagement. At more mature ages, meaning begins to matter over money.

[17:12] Alaina describes a confluence of self-actualization at both ends of the generational spectrum. Millennials and Gen-Z-ers have been raised to find what their passion is and make a career of that. Older workers have learned that the financial plans of their youth have not worked out, and they are starting to search for meaning.

[19:25] How do you match your passion archetypes to your career? There are myriad ways to express them. A teacher archetype will not always stand in front of a class. Alaina uses Oprah Winfrey as her icon for the teacher archetype.

[20:16] The pandemic has cost millions of jobs, and people are afraid they won’t have work. Employers wonder what the new normal will be. Alaina says people she talks with worry about what their lives will be like going forward. They are asking themselves if they are doing what matters, every day, to make the best contribution they can.

[22:26] We may have people in roles that aren’t their dream jobs simply to survive. Alaina suggests looking for what they can do to make a contribution to their work that is unique to themselves. How do you bring you to your job? To answer that question, you need to know who you are, and what your passions are.

[23:24] Alaina once worked with a hospital team of people from nurses to foodservice. The goal was to leverage their passions to improve patient satisfaction. As they reviewed patient satisfaction, the scores were highest on the floors where one man mopped the floors. He had a healer archetype. He spoke with the patients and families.

[25:55] How do you figure out passion and purpose? Alaina wrote a book, The Purpose Linked Organization, with a chapter on each of the passion archetypes. The hardcover book has a code that allows you to take an abbreviated version of the Passion Profiler and find your top three passion archetypes.

[26:33] Alaina has also created a public website so others can have access, There you can purchase a code for under $15.00 to take the Passion Profiler and find your top three passions. That will give you the information you need to start sorting out the places where those passions might be applied.

[27:24] How do self-reflection and meaning-making relate to the Passion Profiler, professional version? Work-inspired reflection tends to drive up engagement. Reflection is extremely important. If you understand your passions, as you reflect on your life, you will observe when your passions “came out to play.”

[30:08] Patricia thanks Alaina for being on the podcast; This Is Capitalism. Learn more at


Mentioned in This Episode:

Alaina Love

University of Michigan


The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50, by Jonathan Rauch

Oprah Winfrey

The Purpose Linked Organization: How Passionate Leaders Inspire Winning Teams and Great Results, by Alaina Love and Marc Cugnon