The Power of Purposeful Growth with Mark Mears · ShiftWorkPlace

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Ep110 The Power of Purposeful Growth with Mark Mears


How can purposeful growth impact your leadership?

Bio for Mark Mears

Mark A. Mears is a #1 Best Selling author, keynote speaker, consultant, and visionary business leader. He has a significant track record of building stakeholder value, driving innovation, and profitable growth among world-class, high-profile brands such as PepsiCo/Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, JCPenney, NBCUniversal, and The Cheesecake Factory.

Today, Mark serves as Chief Growth Officer for LEAF Growth Ventures, LLC, a consulting firm inspiring individuals, teams, and organizations to find purpose in fulfilling their true growth potential while making a positive, lasting difference in the world. Mark has just released his new book titled, “The Purposeful Growth Revolution: 4 Ways to Grow from Leader to Legacy Builder.”

Episode highlight

In this insightful conversation, Mark Mears shares his vision of purposeful growth and the importance of feeling loved in the workplace, breaking down the concept of love into an inspiring acronym. He shares his experiences, upbringing, and professional journey, imparting valuable wisdom on leadership, community, and the power of feedback.

He also shares how being fired from a C-Suite level job was a gift in disguise for him. We get to hear how he came up with the leaf growth model, how it has shaped his life, and that of the people he works with. Listen to learn more.



  • “When we do things randomly, they don’t stick. But if we do things intentionally, and over and over, it forms like wet cement. It hardens and it becomes a habit. In this case, a positive habit.”
  • “Leadership is like the seed of an organization and the root system. You must have a strong root system for any plant or tree to grow.”
  • “Those who bear the most fruit have the opportunity to scatter the most seeds, and that’s where new growth comes in.”


Childhood Incidents: 

Growing up, Mark was an avid swimmer. He had a coach who helped him achieve excellence through hard workouts and  he became a lifeguard and swim coach in high school. Mark put his best foot forward soon was promoted to headguard responsible for managing the pool. Due to his passion  for service, hospitality and leadership, Mark always made sure people had a good time so that they would keep coming back. That’s where he honed his philosophy of love for leadership, service, and hospitality.

Influential Groups/Cultural Influence

Mark sees culture as a set of norms and expectations that people establish amongst themselves as a natural course of interaction. He recalls growing up in the swim team. He was always with his teammates during practice, they carpooled to practice and had bus rides together when they formed deeper bonds. Church and college also influenced Mark, giving him a sense of belonging.
Mark has worked for and with many organizations, and his greatest desire has always been to leave each place better than he found it. The groups in Marks life, taught him how to leverage his God-given gifts, talents, abilities, intellect, and to use his experiences to help organizations reach their potential.

Personality and Temperament

As a child, Mark was passionate and competitive. He was also curious and had the resilience to overcome obstacles which he has carried with him to this day.
Today, Mark has softened his competitiveness tendency and has more forgiveness for himself. He has learned how to take the best of his core characteristics, round off the rougher edges, and grow new ones.

Cultural Epiphanies

In Mark’s last leadership position, someone called him a narcissist. It was difficult for Mark to understand where it came from, and he later realized that what he viewed as selflessness was seen as grand-standing by others.

Leaf Growth Model

Mark was working for a Cheese factory as a Chief Marketing Officer. When they brought him in, they were after growth. Within 2 years, the company had grown, but the owners decided to sell it. Months after the company was sold, Mark was fired. The following morning, as Mark was taking his dog for a walk, he noticed a tree in his backyard had a branch with tiny leaves, which to him signified rebirth. The tree had been barren all winter but was now ready to grow. This realization inspired Mark to create his model of: leadership, engagement, and accountability.

What Brings out the Best in Mark?

Mark lights up like a Christmas tree when he helps align a team and unite them to achieve more than they even thought possible.

Soapbox Moment:

Are you interested in purposeful growth? Mark invites you to visit his website for a self-assessment and experience his concept of LOVE: an acronym for: Listen, Observe, Value, and Empower. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.


Mark Mears experienced a life of success and financial security – until he was laid off from a C-suite position after the merger he helped create was finalized. This unexpected event led to a period of intense self-reflection and the desire to create a legacy document that would summarize his professional learnings and help others on their management career journeys. The result was a book built on a natural model – the life of a tree and specifically the changes in a leaf. I enjoyed Mark’s recounting of his life journey and have been reading his book, which shows how working for food companies – most involved in marketing unhealthy food – provided him with the opportunity to rebuild organizational health through his own personal and managerial learning.

Here are some of my takeaways from Mark’s interview:

  1. Don’t get comfortable with any position – life happens.
  2. Behind every crisis lies an opportunity. The bigger the crisis, the bigger the opportunity.
  3. Corporate success may be an illusion. Stick to your values to stay true to your inner compass.

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