Shaun Tomson – The Code to Ride the Next Wave of Purpose

In Making Waves Conversations by Mark Sylvester

The Code to Ride the Next Wave of Purpose

Living with purpose has many cascading and positive impacts on well-being and performance. Purpose is a higher calling and can be considered a long-term committed intention to accomplish aims meaningful to oneself and the broader world.” Purpose is the motivational power that enables individuals and organizations to thrive.  Why is purpose important in life and business? Large-scale, longitudinal studies of over 73,000 people have shown that having a purpose in life makes you live longer. A lead researcher at the University of Michigan concluded, "People who didn't have a strong life purpose were twice as likely to die than those who did.”  Also, working with a sense of purpose leads to greater engagement, motivation, productivity, and retention. In a survey of CEOs for a Global Leadership Forecast, Ernst and Young concluded that purpose-led organizations perform 42 % more than those simply in business – EY Global Leadership Forecast.

Shaun Tomson


Shaun Tomson has a Bachelor's in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Leadership from Northeastern University. He is a former World Surfing Champion and has been listed as one of the most influential surfers of the century and one of the 10 greatest surfers of all time. He created two market-leading apparel brands: Instinct in the 1980s and Solitude in the '90s, co-founded with his wife, Carla. He is the author of Surfer's Code (2006), The Code-The Power of "I Will" (2012), and The Surfer & the Sage (2022). He produced and co-wrote the documentary Bustin' Down the Door (2006), is a past board member of the Surfrider Foundation and the Santa Barbara Boys & Girls Club and is an ambassador for Boys to Men Mentoring.

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