Purposeful People: Business Leaders Making A Difference

Purposeful People Book
Purposeful People Book

We are thrilled to announce the publication of Purposeful People, an anthology of triumph over adversity with a purpose-driven mindset.

Chris Paton has compiled the book with the help of 19 exceptional business leaders, all of whom were invited to share their personal stories and unique perspectives of what it means to live a purpose-driven life.

The authors all have direct experience navigating the ups and downs of life with an unwavering sense of service in their field.

Advice and anecdotes from nursing wards to battlefields and boardrooms thread together as a guide to harnessing self-belief and gaining support in turbulent times.

Readers will discover how to dig deep, dust themselves off and keep moving towards their goals, one step at a time. In solidarity, our authors share the vital lessons of pursuing a purpose-driven mindset.

As we continue to face uncertainty, these stories bring a great sense of hope from those who endured immense personal challenges in their lives. We hope you can join us for this celebration of the power of purpose and support these incredible charities.

This book is self-funded by the authors to ensure all proceeds go to four incredible charities: SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, Cancer Fund for Children, Shelter UK and Samten Meditation.

Woman teaching

Melanie Fitzpatrick | Chief People & Brand Officer – CPA Global

Incredible compilation of real people telling powerful, and in some cases moving, stories that present shared learnings and experiences that should be life-changing for us all. This book is simple, straightforward and digestible. It’s a treasure chest of insights that make you stop and think very carefully. The lessons give us a valuable checklist of things that we can all try, test and learn from when put into action (go do it!). I consider this to be a handbook to help us humans navigate the ever-growing societal changes and economic forces around us. My favourite quote of the entire, wonderful book is by Jamie Watkins, “Work hard. Stay humble. Never give up on your dreams” which is something that I can personally relate to so closely on my own personal life journey.


Buy your copy of Purposeful People today.

Reviews of Purposeful People

As the title might suggest, this is a book about individual people, but the principles it contains apply to all. Each chapter comes from a different contributor with their own area of expertise, but the end result is a sum that is so much greater than the parts. There are lessons in leadership, lessons in life, and strong messages aplenty from individuals who have experienced both triumph and adversity.

The end result is a series of essays that stitch into a powerful tapestry, a compelling picture of leading and prevailing in the world we live in today.

I really enjoyed this book. Each chapter is self contained, and can be read as such, but the accumulated knowledge – and the subtle progression of knowledge as you read on – is the real reward. A delight.


monty halls

– Monty Halls

Travel Writer, Broadcaster, Marine Biologist, Inspirational Speaker, Leadership Trainer, Expedition Leader

“From boardroom to battlefield this is a gem of a book. It is packed full of personal and corporate lessons many of which have been hard won – on everything from innovation and to self-care, values based leadership and building successful teams. It is heartening to have such a variety of authors, showing the richness of difference in gender, education, background and aspiration.”

monty halls

– David Webster

C.Psychol., Partner, Centre for Teams (London) andauthor of ‘Creating Adaptable Teams: from the psychology of coaching to the practice of leaders’ McGraw Hill (2021)

“This book is jammed packed with real-world experience. It is full of practice from the mouth of leaders who have done it. 20 different perspectives on delivering profound change that share personal truths and harsh realities. This collection of insights is fascinating, seeing how others have followed their purpose will inspire you to find yours.”

monty halls

– Gavin Bounds

Chief Operating Officer EMEA. Rackspace Chair PurpleSpace

Purposeful People is a simply amazing display of practical advices and metaphors from a wide array of leaders, compiled by Chris Paton, is meant for leaders who want to become better selves, and leap from Good to Great. The best leadership guide in years. Chris, very early in his career had to make life and death decisions which shaped his personality and his drive for purpose. Chris touches all major points of our search for meaning, starting with our own self, our believes, and also touching important aspects of the leadership traits, helping us becoming the captain of our ships and owning our own destiny. Purposeful People is more than a framework, it is a masterpiece for Leaders seeking for their purpose!”

monty halls

– Joao Perez

Senior Vice President, Oracle

“An important read, which addresses a well-articulated display of reflection towards our own purpose from an international panel of leaders.  

One of the best books I have read in leadership in years and I strongly recommend any leaders who want to master this approach & how to create a valuable framework that integrates purpose, values, and goals read it.

After working with Sarah Downs, and having had her as an advisor for my own organisation, I have to say she has transformed the way we do a lot in line with business with drawing it back to Purpose.”

monty halls

– Glenn Marsden

CEO & Founder; Imperfectly Perfect Campaign

“This book is a handy collection of topics around purpose and leadership which allows the reader to dip into each chapter in isolation, or to read through in full and refer back, which is perfect for the target audience of leaders and business-people.

A collection of approaches, from a variety of contributors, could have resulted in a random anthology, but in this case the evident strong editorial vision and a keen eye for the content of each chapter ensures the contributions of each author complement each other.

As a result, I enjoyed the various angles and approaches, and the different writing styles of each contributor. In addition, the conceptual diagrams helped to explain some core ideas very clearly, and the real-life examples included meant that this is not just a leadership text-book, but that it has real value in the world of business. Recommended highly.

monty halls

– Phil Olley

Keynote Speaker, International Author, and Performance Coach www.PhilOlley.com ‘Focus on Purpose’

Purposeful People – what an understated title! This compilation is packed with excellence, learning and experience from real leaders who have really walked the walk. As a senior leader on my own journey, many of the chapters resonated for me, some chapters deepened my understanding of an issue or brought a fresh perspective and some inspired me to develop a particular area further as part of my future path.

There is so much content and knowledge share – Leadership, teams, values, decision making, organisational development, inclusivity, the formula for innovation (!) self growth from several angles, work/life blend and even sleep! I am sure there will be something for everyone within the pages, dig in and learn.

The authors have included references, further reading, podcasts, TED talks and contacts to enable the reader to delve deeper and further beyond the book and continue the life long learning journey.

This should be essential reading for leaders at all stages so thank you Chris for the compilation – your leadership will go a long way.”

monty halls

– Conrad Trickett

Chief Superintendent, Divisional Commander, Highland & Islands Division, Police Scotland

“I admit I’m suspicious of business books, especially those written by academics and researchers. This is snooty of me, I know, but I trust practice over theory any day.

That’s where this book scores high. The writers are all practitioners, which means these ideas have been fashioned at the coal-face, not in a library or by studying other people’s work.

There’s a great deal of practical business humanity to learn in these pages, much of it that you won’t find anywhere else.

monty halls

– Richard Eyre CBE

Formerly CEO of ITV and Chairman of the Eden Project

“An encyclopaedia of life, a book of knowledge, a compendium of wisdom, I am lost in my ability to describe Purposeful People, it is an amazing amalgam of experience, success, opportunity, setback, bounce back and fortitude. Each page is laden with richness, learning and insight, it must command pride of place on the bookshelf of every leadership coach, every mentor, every business strategist, and all those people with an interest in life and how we operate. It has no sell by date, Purposeful People takes you on a voyage of lifelong learning, like a kaleidoscope, you discover something new with the re-reading of each page.

If feedback is the breakfast of a champion, then this book is a banquet for those with an appetite for learning. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all those who have contributed to this invaluable book, you have refreshed, revitalised and re-energised my love for leadership development, coaching and mentoring. Purposeful People is my new bible!

As a leadership coach and mentor, I see my role akin to that of a ship’s pilot, I am there to advise the ship’s master as to where the safe waters are, such they can unload the cargo of limited value and load cargo that is of much greater value. This book is the complete ship master’s guide to the world, every pilot should have one.”

monty halls

– Nicholas Watkins

Principal Q4 Management Limited

“Finding your purpose and overcoming the obstacles along the way to living it everyday with passion is not easy. This book provides thought-provoking, inspirational and practical insights to help you move forward faster and enjoy more fulfilment in life. ”

monty halls

– Dr Arnoud Franken

Senior Strategy & Change Consultant at InContext Consultancy Group (NL) and Visiting Senior Lecturer at Cranfield University (UK)

Finding purpose’ is the current fashionable question that every ambitious person or anyone at a career ‘junction’ seems to be asking themselves – and yet it seems so elusive and hard to nail down.

‘Purposeful People’ is a trove of valuable life lessons from a selection of those who truly breathe purpose and as a result, have enjoyed huge success and professional fulfilment. The book is a positive, refreshing concentrate, with no watering down. I felt like each chapter could have been a whole book, but given my time-poor life

I’m so grateful the insights were condensed in this way: colourful, engaging, personal stories interwoven with highly actionable take-aways. This is definitely a book to first devour and then keep close at hand for dipping back into at appropriate moments when seeking both inspiration and tangible techniques to not only help us identify but to realise our very individual purpose in life.”

monty halls

– Jess Butcher MBE

Entrepreneur, Advisor, Equalities Commissioner

“This book details a personal narrative relating to the lives and careers of a group of 20 entrepreneurial individuals from varied backgrounds. Essentially, the end result is a good one for everyone – the starting point and the journey through life for many is bumpy to say the least, and numerous contributors described what precipitated the turning point in their lives. Some faced major financial hardship, marital breakdown, and material losses. The book describes a roadmap to recovery and a claw back from difficult situations: financial, emotional, and reputational, to name but a few. The impact of timeout, self-awareness, self-belief and unlocking of hidden talents are important components to recovery, as is the need for physical and mental health which generates emotional resilience to working in an all too frequently stressful environment. As a trauma surgeon, I knew only too well that a high performing team must be willing to take risks – risk or risk averse appear related to success or mediocre performance.

This book taught me a lot about people, about failure and success and, once a purpose in life is determined, the roads to success. Many contributors remind us of the importance of work/life balance – something that I myself did not get right. Chris Paton has gathered authors, all of whom have an important story and message to share and many of whom are now involved in senior management and life coaching. No matter what your background, you can relate and see yourself in the lives of many of these authors, these purposeful people from whom you may get guidance to define your direction and purpose in life.

monty halls

– Professor Sir Keith Porter

Professor of Clinical Traumatology, O St J MD MBBS FRCS(Eng) FRCS(Ed) FIMC RCS(ED) FFSEM(Ed) FCEM FRSA FRCGP(Hon)

I really like that there’s something in the book for everyone. The unique writing styles held my attention very nicely – it’s like listening to a panel of experts with entirely distinct perspectives.

This collection proves that purposeful people are plaid. I was struck by the variety of factors, backgrounds and experiences that drove the career and focus of each author.

Its strength doesn’t rest in any particular story, although I’m sure some will resonate more deeply than others. Its force rests with the collage of wisdom it provides and its invitation for you to assimilate and apply that within your own purposeful life.

monty halls

– Patrick Aylward

Collaborative Paths

“This powerful collection of actionable insights and practical advice from twenty renowned leaders will be a ready companion to me for many years.”

monty halls

– Colonel (Ret) Chris Kolenda

Colonel (Ret) Chris Kolenda

“As someone who has been on a journey to live a meaningful and purposeful life over the past few years, Purposeful people couldn’t have come at a better time. It is basically a consolidation of all the advice I have needed.

I really enjoyed all the contributions, and I obtained a lot of takeaways. The book is well laid out, with the topics sequenced in such a way that the reader can choose to read from cover to cover, or can simply select the topics of interest.

Self-belief, Finding your purpose, Minding your mind, the importance of teamwork…really important lessons to be learnt here.
I particularly liked one of Andrew Powel’s lessons – ‘Change is constant. Don’t try and fight it. It is happening every day and all around us. The minute you stand still, you become obsolete.’ I appreciate the contributors’ honesty and authenticity. It just shows one thing I always say ‘We are all human.’ Even leaders are human too and experience all the emotions we all do. A must-read for everyone!”

monty halls

– Willorna Brock

Chartered MCIPD, HR Consultant, Career and Executive Coach

“I find myself reflecting often on the bite size chapters compiled from a varied cross-section of different sectors within this excellent book. Although the title seems directed towards business leaders, the lessons from each chapter can be applied to any team, whether it be military, marketing or medical.

As a paediatric consultant starting a new role in an unfamiliar hospital with an unfamiliar team, the lessons from each chapter resonated strongly with me. It felt like Chris had hand-picked each author to illuminate my leadership journey: and each managed to readily and clearly impart the wisdom accrued over collective decades of experience.

Collectively, they interleaved to expand my perspective and explore related topics from intuition to wellbeing. As a professional who relies on the outputs of collective groups of specialists, I found the anecdotes about building and sustaining committed, resilient teams particularly valuable. The messages imparted by these authors, and the self-reflection they inspire, helped me to address unfamiliar and complex leadership challenges, and I am convinced that not only will this book help others in my profession, but that I will revisit different chapters at different points in my own career.

monty halls

– Dr Catriona Middleton


“Purposeful People is a refreshing read that leads you into thinking about how success and purpose entwines with personal adversity. Using a holistic approach, each individual presents their tips and ideas on success. This is a refreshing read that reiterates the need to ensure your own emotional well-being as a cornerstone of being purposeful. Splattered with different theoretical approaches (Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, digital ecosystems) as well as important concepts around inclusion and belonging, this book is a journey to promote thinking and engagement with a key idea – how can we be purposeful people in a complex post-modern age?”

monty halls

– Sarah Dov

MA NPQH FCCT International Speaker, Author, Teacher and Strategic Director of Phoenix Education Consultancy

“Personal growth generally comes from experiences or by increased knowledge and remains an essential trait of those looking to lead.
In this book the reader will benefit from the experiences and knowledge of 20 different authors, all from varying backgrounds, with different expertise, sharing their insights.

It’s ideal for anyone on a Leadership journey to read and reflect on the collective wisdom offered and then identify lessons to learn and apply to self.

Whether new in post or experienced, there will be something for you. A recommended read for anyone with positive enquiry and a growth mindset.

monty halls

– Phil Jones MBE

Managing Director, Brother UK

‘Wow’ in this journey we call life, when we become aligned with like minded people is where impact happens and this creates everlasting change. This is what this group of people have achieved with this book. This book is authentic, raw and truly inspiring.

monty halls

– Simon Delve

Purposeful People is a captivating read. In a world of celebrity it is so refreshing to hear from a collective of highly successful but ever so relatable people sharing their story, their experiences and the lessons they have learnt in life, business and leadership.

There is no better way to grow in a both a personal and professional sense than to walk the well trodden path and to learn from people who have overcome challenges to achieve success and fulfilment in heir own lives and field of expertise. This book allows you to do that- many times over.”

monty halls

– Mark Winship

“It’s unusual to find a book that’s something for everyone. A book that’s insightful, passionate, technical yet compassionate. ‘Purposeful People’ tells real people’s stories of challenges, failures, successes and their deep learning on those journeys. Well worth a read and book that you will keep coming back to.”

monty halls

– Fraser Morrison

CEO of the 1000 Steps Business Growth Consultancy, and World Ranked Endurance Athlete

“If, as many of us seem to be these days, you are in search of a more meaningful purpose for your life and work, I think you will find Purposeful People a great source of inspiration, insight and ideas.

Each chapter of this thoughtful and thought-provoking compilation tells its own self-contained story, penned by people from all walks of life. I enjoyed meeting every one of them and contemplating their honest accounts of success, failure and fulfilment in business and in life.

My advice before you dive into these pages – take your time. Each contribution is distinctive and worth digesting. Stew on it a bit before chasing the next nugget.

monty halls

– Kathryn McKee

Chart MCIPR, Head of Communications, BP Scotland

‘Purposeful People is like an encyclopaedia of Truly Authentic Leadership, Business and Success, without the boring bits. Full of How-Tos that work in real life with real people and supporting so many worthwhile charities along the way. WOW!’

monty halls

– David Taylor

Professor of Leadership, #No.1 Best-Selling Author and Founder of Naked Leader