Leading Oneself with Purpose and Meaning


Before we can lead others well, we must first learn to lead ourselves well. Knowing your why is an important part of this journey. In this course, you will identify your core purpose and recognize meaning in your life, explore the power of spirituality and embracing our mortality, create a lasting impact by serving a greater good, describe your character and practice personal excellence.

This course can be taken for academic credit as part of CU Boulder’s Master of Engineering in Engineering Management (ME-EM) degree offered on the Coursera platform. The ME-EM is designed to help engineers, scientists, and technical professionals move into leadership and management roles in the engineering and technical sectors. With performance-based admissions and no application process, the ME-EM is ideal for individuals with a broad range of undergraduate education and/or professional experience. Learn more about the ME-EM program at https://www.coursera.org/degrees/me-engineering-management-boulder.

What you will learn

Defining Purpose and Creating Meaning

This week we will explore the often contentious concepts of purpose and meaning. We will explore such questions as: Does my life have meaning? What is my purpose for being here? Are these important to live my best life? You will come away with an understanding of how coherence, purpose and significance play a part in meaning. Lastly, with this clarity, we will craft a plan to live our lives with focused intent.

Exploring Spirituality and Mortality

Research has proven that having a spiritual practice enhances life wellbeing. In the past, spirituality has been synonymous with a religious practice. Although that still holds true for many, new evidence supports the idea that spirituality does not need to include a religious component. No matter your beliefs, believing you are part of something bigger than yourself has positive correlation to a better life. We will explore this and how reflecting on our mortality can enhance life.

Understanding Legacy and Impact

This week, we will examine legacy and impact. Legacy is future looking, whereas impact is often present moment thinking. Some will say that our legacy is overrated and that having the most impact while we are alive should be the goal. How important is it to leave a lasting legacy? How long will your legacy last? We will contrast legacy and impact and the importance of each. What impact are you having on the world, and those you interact with, in the present?

Developing Character and Values

In week 4, we now turn our attention to the importance of character and core values. We will work to define these. Once you have gained clarity on what you stand for, you will then develop a personal ethos to actionably state how you will live your values on a daily basis. Ethos is the Greek word for character. Your ethos can become a governing document to guide you on your life journey.

What’s included