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Leading with Passion and Purpose


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So many of us have amazing ideas taking up mental real estate, but fear often gets in the way of acting on them. If that’s ever happened to you, don't miss this week’s episode with Jennifer Dulski! 

As the CEO and founder of Rising Team, Dulski helps managers gain the tools and training they need to build engaged, connected, and successful teams. She has channeled her experience in the tech world and as a teacher into her thought leadership work, teaching others how to be movement starters. She wrote the book “Purposeful: Are You a Manager or a Movement Starter?” which provides actionable tips for starting that movement you’ve been dreaming about.


Dulski discovered her purpose early in her career as a high school teacher. While teaching, she started a nonprofit organization to help kids become first-generation college graduates. She says she “caught the impact bug [and purpose] bug at a very young age because I saw how meaningful it was to help amplify the potential in other people.”

That’s why Dulski moved to tech; she wanted to scale this work up to help people on a larger scale. “And now I am building the company I believe I've been meant to build my whole life, which is Rising Team, because to me, the through line has always been [that] organizations are most successful when the people within them feel understood and supported and feel like they can build trust together as a team.” 

Whether on a small scale or on a larger, team-based scale, empowerment has been the through-line of Dulski’s career, ever since she saw how people’s lives could be impacted when they were surrounded by supportive people who believed in them. 


Creating strong movements requires building a community of like-minded, mutually supportive people who believe in that cause and the associated values. Dulski has noticed that one of the keys to success among people who start movements is their ability to welcome the first people who want to join — the people who are most excited about the idea — and find ways to include them in the work. “The more you can welcome them and give them real responsibility and delegate to them, the more successful you’ll be.”

Successful movements don’t rely on the power of a single leader. Purposeful leaders build a strong community and network for the movement. They bring passionate people together to further the work. Eventually, they pass the torch themselves so that others can take the movement further.

As Dulski says, “The best legacy is that the movements we start can live on without us.”


Figuring out how to make big ideas work in real life can be intimidating, but Dulski emphasizes the power of “little courage”: that little bit of courage that helps you take the first small step toward your vision.

Movements don’t start big, anyway. Dulski reminds us that “every single huge movement on Earth [...], civil rights, marriage equality, all of the movements we see, they all start with a single person or a [...] small group of people and small actions.” We don’t roll out of bed and do the big things; as Dulski says, “You have to start small.”

What’s more, you can’t do it alone. Dulski’s three C’s for success are courage, community, and commitment. “You cannot do this by yourself. It is not a movement by definition until other people are joining you in it.”

So remember: Take the small steps, and remind yourself that “the first time people do anything, they’ve never done it before.” 

Tune into the episode to hear more advice for aspiring movement-starters and to hear Dulski’s thoughts on what AI can and cannot do in the workplace!

Creating a strong sense of community and passing the torch for the benefit of a movement are powerful tools for strong leaders. Learn about Shadille Estepan, who started with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation as part of the inaugural youth advisory board and, passionate about her work, continued with the foundation until she became Senior Manager of Communications.

Listen to this episode to learn about...

  • [1:08] Dulski’s journey from educator to thought leader
  • [5:20] Dulski’s thoughts on AI and what it can’t do for leaders and their teams
  • [7:14] Using small steps to start movements
  • [9:24] Dulski’s three C’s for success
  • [10:39] Embracing and empowering those who join your movement
  • [14:38] The importance of amplifying others’ success
  • [16:32] Advice for future movement leaders
  • [20:04] Listening to constructive feedback while avoiding “the haters”

Tune into the Members Only episode to learn about the toolkits Rising Team gives managers so they can build connected, successful teams.