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HBO’s Carla Moore: ‘Passion plus purpose equals power’

Friday, October 02, 2015  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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HBO's Carla Moore offered her advice for leading with personal power at the NEW Summit's closing session.

Women can tap into their personal power "and kick fear in the butt” by cultivating three traits: a strong desire, determination to break old habits and focus.

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The author of CRASH! Leading through the Wreckage shared details of her life and career journey and offered advice for harnessing a leadership style that will inspire team members, drive business and fuel a leader's own career at the NEW Leadership Summit, Oct. 2 in Dallas. Moore recounted how, eight years ago, at age 40 and weighing 350 pounds, she was driving home from the airport, loss control of her convertible while driving 55 miles per hour, without a seatbelt on and crashed into a median, totaling her car. She suffered minimal injuries and was home the next day, with stitches in her face and bandages on her legs.

"I was traveling three to five days a week, launching marketing campaigns, three months behind in my expense reports, the SVP was visiting in two weeks and needed to plan for that and I was thinking about all I had to do. I was just not present at all,” Moore recounted. "As I laid in the ER, the doctor said, ‘Miss Moore, most people don’t make it out of a crash like this.’ In that moment, I thought, ‘If I died today, I would have died not living the life I imagined’. Despite my career and academic achievement, I was lost. Strong by day and in tears every night.”

She wrote down what she most wanted from life and listed four things: lose half her body weight; become fit and healthy; be active in her community through church, her sorority and civic organizations; and travel internationally. Within a year, she had lost 100 pounds and ran her first 5K, reactivated her memberships in her church, sorority and community organizations; and spent two weeks in Rome.

"Standing in front of the Coliseum, touching a building I had only seen in pictures, I finally got it. The life you imagine is about choosing it and living it. Everything about life is choices — and choices shape destiny.

Moore offered this "3 ’P’ equation” for how she "crashed her way to personal success and maximum leadership capacity": passion plus purpose equals power. "Life is nothing without passion,” she said. "It’s what fuels you and starts the engine and gives the energy that keeps you going and life filled with meaning. It will help you accomplish anything you set your mind to.”

By finding her own passion, Moore said she began to lead from a point of authenticity and "carry a humble confidence of what I was here for and what I needed to do. As I began to grow and expand so did the people around me. At HBO, team members were getting promoted quicker. My responsibilities also began to grow and expand and I was excited about what has happening around me.”

While passion is "your feelings,” purpose is "the why behind it all.” Purpose sustains passion, she said. "Passion can be wild and unbridled and you can have many. Purpose is usually singular. Passion is for you; purpose is for others.”

Purpose gives you direction and motivation, she said. "If your purpose is not clear, go out and get one. Try and get involved in different things; see what feels good to you.”

Moore said she believes her purpose is to use her story as a humble illustration to touch, connect, engage and inspire others to carve a path forward to the best version of themselves and those around them. "I believe in lifting while climbing, taking others with you as you grow.”

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