Pursue Your Purpose

Purposeful leaders build inspired organizations and iconic brands. That’s what Sarah McNally, CEO of TransForm Corp, believes, and her work is proof of it. TransForm Corp helps organizations achieve brand success by building high-performing teams within them. Some of the big names they have worked with include Delta, The BrandLab and Ameriprise Financial. Having experienced much success working with leaders who think, act and speak with purpose, Sarah deeply understands the power of being clear on your Desire.

Your Desire is the reason you do what you do. To be clear, it isn’t what you do or how you do it – it’s the purpose behind that which you do. As an example, Sarah and her father David McNally co-founded a business (the how) called Transform Corp (the what) because they wanted to help individuals and organizations perform at their very best (the why). The result is a company which helps organizations reach their full potential by investing in their biggest asset: their people.

Sarah’s enthusiasm and clarity on her Desire (and the importance of leaders’ clarity on theirs) so inspired us that we wanted to learn more. Here is a Q&A with the woman leading TransForm Corp to its next level of success:

Sarah McNally, CEO of TransForm CorpYou created TransForm Corp to help companies build strong brands through their people. What made you realize that strong brands come from the people?

My dad co-wrote a book called Be Your Own Brand in 2002. I credit him for creating that awareness in me, and I was able to connect my own experiences as an employee to that theory, as well as the interactions I have on a daily basis with vendors and providers. It’s all about relationships.

What does iconic brand success look like?

The dictionary may define iconic as more of a “famous” brand, but my definition is one that creates a legacy. There are a lot of smaller, lesser-known brands which create great legacies for their customers, and there are amazing personal brands that create legacies – like my mom! She was totally iconic to everyone who knew her.

What is one contributor to a high performing team?


What gets in the way of companies understanding their brand?

Forgetting their purpose. Whether you are a company or individual, when you forget the “why” and are only focusing on “what” and “how,” you are not seeing your brand.

What’s a common mistake brands make?


How do you define “purposeful leader?”

A person who has clarity of their primary role as a leader and their contribution to the world.

What are three questions companies could ask themselves to help understand their brand?

What do we stand for? Why does it matter? How is it experienced externally as well as internally?

What are you reading?

I have a hard time reading business books — I prefer podcasts and articles. But I am reading A Complete Guide to Building a Learning Organization by Steve Cohen, who is an advisor to me. Every night I go to bed with a crime/mystery novel. I just started A Test of Wills by Charles Todd.

What is your superpower?

Connecting to people.

What are you searching for?

Continuous expansion of myself.

With a profound connection to her Desire and a passion for leading with purpose, Sarah McNally is helping organizations become iconic brands with sustainable growth. Additionally, a leader with purpose herself, Sarah is creating a new experience to further help individuals and organizations achieve their goals.

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Do this: Are you clear on your Desire? Have you identified what gets you out of bed every morning? If not, take five minutes to list out what matters to you. Identify themes, choose those most important to you, then write down what you have defined as your Desire.

If you’d like to learn more about Sarah McNally, she is coming to Studio/E to discuss her visions for the future and to share issues she’s countered along the way while leading TransForm Corp. This event is for Studio/E members only (get your tickets here). If you’re interested in Member Morning Series events like this one, consider becoming a Studio/E member.

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