July 2018
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More Than Ordinary Change

Monday, July 2, 2018

Purposeful: Are You a Manager or a Movement Starter?


By Jennifer Dulski
Portfolio, 272 pp., $27

Ordinary people making extraordinary change—those five powerful words summarize exactly what Dulski conveys in Purposeful. Throughout her book, the current head of groups at Facebook and former president and chief operating officer of Change.org shares her own experiences with making movement-starting change—and those of others from every walk of life.

Purposeful is broken into six chapters, each one describing and demonstrating a different step in the process of starting a movement. It begins with finding the courage to start and then moves on to clarifying your vision, influencing others, inspiring your followers, handling criticism, and managing obstacles.

Chapter 5, "Lead Your Crew," stands out as the step on which the author places the most emphasis. "A team is made up of individuals and you build a movement by motivating every single person to fight for the same cause," Dulski writes. "Your movement can't continue without the support of your team." She shares different concepts, such as seeking others' advice or bringing life into work, as ways to foster a strong, trusting connection with your teams.

Dulski shares amazing stories throughout the book. In chapter 2, for example, we learn about a 15-year-old teen who realizes that her favorite sports drink contains the harmful ingredient bromine. She starts a movement for change, and, within three months, the manufacturer agrees to remove bromine from all its products. In chapter 3, a tragic incident prompts a man to initiate a movement that would require hotels to allow people to call 911 without having to dial any additional numbers first. And in chapter 6, we meet a young girl whose younger brother enjoys baking but doesn't want a pink Easy-Bake Oven. Her movement prompts a new product line of unisex designs.


An eye-opening part of this book is learning about the power of Change.org. Watching ordinary people make change happen every day in her position at that organization prompted Dulski to write Purposeful. Throughout the book, she shares how Change.org was a key piece of every movement that was started and achieved, from the volume of petitions that it receives to the signatures it obtains—anywhere from a couple hundred signatures to hundreds of thousands for a given cause.

This book is a great inspirational tool for anyone with a vision and enough passion to want to make change but who needs a push in the right direction to start a movement. Dulski puts it simply: "Live a life in pursuit of positive impact."

About the Author

Tara Gilmore is a training manager at the Sheraton Vistana Resort in Orlando, Florida.

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