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University of Michigan

Purpose at Work: A Course for Employees and Leaders

University of Michigan via Coursera


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Welcome to Purpose at Work: A Course for Employees and Leaders! Why purpose at work? Because most of us spend most of our waking hours working. Many of us spend years of effort to obtain jobs that may give us purpose. But can we find purpose in nearly any job? Are we more engaged and likely to remain in our job if it gives us purpose? Can leaders create a culture that makes it easier for people to find purpose in their work? The answers are ‘yes’ to all of the above and this course shows you how. In this course we first examine what purpose is, the benefits of having a purpose, and how to find your own purpose. We then look at purposeful work, including ways of finding purposeful work in the process of leading a more engaged and fulfilling life. Finally, we focus on purposeful leadership, including ways of leading with purpose and managing yourself. Also, in this course I interview business executives, leading organizational psychologists, and even the research director of NASA. These discussions offer real-world insights and strategies to students, employees, and leaders.


  • Introduction: What is Purpose and Why is it Important?
    • In this week, you'll meet your instructor, Vic Strecher, and get a foundational introduction to what purpose is from a historical context through to contemporary times, and why purpose is important. This week of the course is for everyone!
  • Purposeful Work
    • In this week, you can expect to learn more about finding purposeful work and crafting your purpose in your work. This week of the course will be particularly relevant to current and future employees.
  • Purposeful Leadership
    • This week will provide insights into how to develop purposeful organizations and learn how to engage as a purposeful leader. You will hear from several guests in this week as they provide additional perspectives on purposeful leadership. The content in this week will be of particular interest to current and future leaders.

Taught by

Vic Strecher


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 15 ratings

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  • A beautiful and inspiring class. It is a short class, still has a very powerful message for everyone.
    You do not need to be an employee to gain worthwhile knowledge that can make life well lived. It is for everyone. Learn from this class how to set your to-be goals, to-do goals, and action goals in life and work! Also, learn with and from others, how they are leading a purposeful life through their work!

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