Summit Highlights: Foundations for Success

The purpose of a purpose statement: defining what success means to you.


This week, we continue our look at The Foundations for Success leadership workshop facilitated by Ambassador Leaders’ keynote speaker Sunjay Nath. If you missed last week’s post, check it out here. Below, Sunjay walks readers through developing a value print, an individualized blueprint for success.

In the first portion of the Foundations for Success workshop, students learn that everyone has patterns of thought which ultimately influence patterns of behavior — both positively and negatively. The more clear students are on what they want to achieve, the more they can guide their thinking and ultimately change the way they act.

It’s no coincidence that when people are clear on what they want, opportunities appear more readily. Part of becoming successful, after all, is knowing what you want to achieve. Helping students gain this clarity is the goal of the Foundations of Success workshop’s second half, and it’s accomplished in three steps.

First, students create a personalized snapshot (think: written selfie) by answering questions about what they love to do, where they excel, and what they’d rather avoid. The idea here, not surprisingly, is that students should spend most of their time doing what they love and avoid things they don’t.

Second, students create a “value print.” In the same way a blueprint is the design plan of a building, a value print is the design plan of a person’s principles. A value print helps students identify the values most important to them, outlining a mental framework from which to build. People’s value prints guide and influence important decision-making processes. Think about it! If you value a friend’s opinions more than your own, it stands to reason that you’ll tend to make decisions based on that person’s values, not your own. We want Ambassador Leaders to identify what’s important to them and make decisions based off of those values. Why? Because strong leaders are the best version of themselves, not carbon copies of others.

Third, once steps one and two are complete, students have the necessary ingredients to draft their first purpose statement. This is a summary paragraph combining students’ personalized snapshots and value prints. Purpose statements are powerful because they focus and direct students’ individualized paths to success. Especially in the midst of challenging times or difficult decisions, they remind students what they love, where they excel, and what they value most. Purpose statements are fluid and will change over time. At one point, playing Pokemon may have been what you loved to do most, and perhaps now you’ve outgrown it.

Successful companies and organizations have mission statements that guide them as they grow and evolve. Successful people have purpose statements for the very same reason. The overall goal of this portion of the Foundations of Success workshop is for students to walk away with a draft of their purpose statement, understand its power, and have fun while they create it.

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By Sunjay Nath

Sunjay travels the world sharing insights on leadership. He is the author of several books including the best seller, The ABCs of Student Leadership and a frequent speaker at Ambassador Leadership Summits. To order his book or inquire about his guest speaking, please visit