What’s Your Passion & Purpose?

with Alaina Love


My guest this week is Alaina Love who is the CEO of Purpose Linked Consulting and the co-author of the Purpose Linked Organization: How Passionate Leaders Inspire Winning Teams and Great Results. She is a recovering HR executive, an executive coach, a global speaker, and a leadership expert. She’s passionate about everything to do with… well, passion! Today we’re exploring the leadership journey of Alaina Love, past, present, and future.

Without further ado, let’s dive into this winding path of transformation!

The Origin Story

After reading an inspirational book about the first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, Alaina wanted to be a doctor. She followed the path to med school, but the focus was a bit unclear. There are so many different areas that are so fascinating. Her path has followed medicine and healing since that, but not quite how one might think. Tragedy struck when her sister and mother passed away within four months of each other. Alaina came home to a business she had no clue on how to run. Devastating loss, mortgage, 50 employees looking for answers, and a big decision to make. No pressure. The important part of this experience is that out of this tragedy, Alaina found something she was really good at, besides science. (This podcast is really good, honestly stop reading and just go listen to it!)

Navigating Grief

Overwhelmed by everything happening, (for good reason!) Alaina hired someone who actually knew what they were doing to guide and train her in the business industry. She didn’t have time to wallow in her loss for too long. She ran her mother’s business until she could sell it and then… made a major pivot.

A Phoenix is Born

Alaina didn’t go back to med school. She applied to Merck Pharmaceuticals and received a position there as a researcher. (Spoiler, she has some thoughts on COVID, you can still tune in here!) I know what you’re thinking, still science. Don’t worry, we’re getting to that. Alaina thought that she would be at Merck forever. Everything about them was amazing – people, content, all of it. It was all exciting to her… until it wasn’t. When she was informed that she would be the one to succeed a higher-up colleague, she realized something vital – she didn’t want to do that. Alaina made a decision to leave and took a 100% pay cut. (Don’t try this at home, kids!) It made her think – if someone like her could quit out of the blue, how many high potential people were being missed? She began to study what it would take to make those types of people.

Patterns of Passion

Interview after interview, Alaina began to see trends between each and every individual. From these findings, Alaina developed archetypes, of which there are 10. (You can find out which three you are here!) The 10 types are creator, conceiver, discoverer, processor, teacher, connector, altruist, healer, transformer, and builder. Passion and purpose are not separate entities. We spend our whole lives trying to figure out our purpose, but what if we didn’t need to do that? What if there were key indicators to our passions and purposes that could save a lot of time? Oh wait, there are. People tend to keep their top three archetypes throughout their lives. Consider what careers you’ve held thus far, see any trends?

The Best Archetype is…

Just kidding, there is no archetype that is better than another. There are no bad passions. Stop looking at what you’re bad at and trying to improve them. Focus on the passions you’ve been given and improve those! Celebrate the best that you can be and stop that comparison game. The more you understand yourself and your passions, the more you can express them in your relationships, both personal and professional.

I’m not going to give you all the secrets of our conversation. You have to tune into the rest of the interview to discover how our passions promote inclusivity and the importance of having a well-balanced team.

Give Other People Wings

People First!
Give Other People Wings with Kay Formanek

The Charisma Edge

People First!
The Charisma Edge with Cynthia Burnham

Grace Under Pressure

People First!
Grace Under Pressure with John Baldoni
Unicorn facing right

Let's Connect

Unicorn facing left