I recently sat down with Purpose Driven Women Magazine’s editor-in-chief Kimi Johnson. She let me pick her brain on the unexpected twists and turns of life over tea and cake at our local coffee shop. She shared so much wisdom about being a purpose driven boss, that I couldn’t squeeze it all into the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper article in which she was featured. Our cups ran over with yummy tea, amazing insight, and lots of laughter. Here are some nuggets that I personally look forward to integrating into my journey as we prepare for the onset of a new year…
As you can imagine, running a magazine consists of a lot of moving pieces. Creating layouts, scheduling and conducting interviews, staying current on the needs of your target demographic, organizing articles, editing the articles, publishing the articles–and marketing, marketing, marketing! Phew! Kimi has been two-stepping to this groove for nearly five years. This is also while she tangos with full time responsibilities as a wife, mom, curriculum development trainer, and community supporter. Quite obviously, I wanted to know how she keeps it all together! How does someone with this many hats even begin to organize her day?
1. You may not be able to do it all, but you can focus on your top 10.
Kimi says she doesn’t worry herself about everything getting done, because this is impossible. Instead she focuses on her “top 10.” She will make a list of everything that needs to get done for the day or the week, whatever is floating in her head at the time. Then she will do a first prioritization of that list, determining what needs her best attention. Then she will do a second prioritization, which helps her identify her action steps for the day and the week. Lastly, she will select her “top 10” tasks to accomplish that day.
I like this approach, because it keeps you from getting distracted by all of the tasks that are not getting done, and it instead allows you to bring your best self to what is getting done. Perhaps your days are better set to the rhythm of a top 5, or maybe even a top 3. Either way, taking the time to identify what you are capable of accomplishing that day will help you stay on purpose with every beat.
2. Make your mentor wishlist
In college, it is very common to hear, “If it wasn’t for my mentor…” or “My mentor helped me with…” The younger we are, the easier, it seems, it is to secure a mentor. However, as professionals, especially women, it may be more challenging to invite someone in your space who can serve as a trusted role model, advisor, and guide. Kimi attributes her spiritual, personal, and professional growth to sound mentoring. She shared that her husband, executive business coach and image consultant Kristie Kennedy, and her pastor and faith-based business coach Trasetta Alexander are the primary mentors in her life.
If you are seeking mentorship, Kimi advises that you first, be patient. “Identify what you really want in a mentor, so it can be something that is meaningful for you, and you’re not just saying, ‘I have a mentor’.” She also says it’s important to identify what you specifically desire to be mentored in. “Is it becoming a boss, is it confidence? Is it business? Time management? Based on what you’re looking for, go out and look for that mentor.” Most importantly, Kimi says it is important to pay attention to how you feel around that person. “Can you be transparent with them? Can they be transparent with you? Are they willing to pray with you? Not just some big name person, but what value can they really give to you?”
3. “There is so much power in collaborating…”
To further validate this concept, Kimi points out that “Jesus Himself had disciples.” Wow! If you know me, you know I “amen-ed” and “soul-snapped” all over this part of our conversation! How often do we take on more than we can bear, so we can say we did it ourselves? We already know it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), so why do we operate in silos? If you are honest with the inner you, is your default mode set to see potential partnerships? Or is the needle always stuck on jealousy and competition?
Jesus is our example for the purpose driven life, especially when it comes to walking out our assignment. Being our Savior, He was and is capable of doing all things by Himself. Why do you think He felt it necessary to demonstrate collaboration in His human form? What can you gain from that and apply to your own purpose driven life
4. Have a playlist that feeds your purpose
Before I let Kimi go, I had to see what she was reading and/or listening tol. What we have on rotation speaks both to who we are now and who we are intent on becoming. Check out Kimi’s purpose driven playlist…
- Read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
- Watch anything Oprah on Youtube
- Watch anything Priscilla Shirer on Youtube: Link
- Listen to Jazz/Instrumental music: Link
- Kimi admits with a smile, “[Jazz music] is for the times when I don’t want to hear any words. I have enough thoughts on my own.
- Listen to Tasha Cobbs music: Link
- Listen to William Murphy music: Link
- Listen to India.Arie music: Link
How will you take purpose into your new year? We invite you to join the conversation in the comments section below.