Steve Jobs challenged the status quo. Tony Hsieh delivered happiness. Martin Luther King inspired a dream.

What connects these three? The result of asking: What would I like to see? What matters to me? How can I make things in my world better?

Steve Jobs focused on the experience he would want as a consumer. Tony Hsieh created the environment he would want as an employee. MLK held a nation spellbound with what he would want as a citizen and as an individual.

While the focus may vary, we are all moved by passionate purpose. We rarely act from reason. We act from feeling. That’s why our leaders all start with a dream, not a plan. They are anchored in personal purpose.

And when a cause is truly personal, it becomes universal.

Oftentimes, your cause — your “why” — isn’t immediately clear. Rather, it is the result of intimately knowing the “what” and “how” of your business (whether your business is raising children or running a Fortune 500) and then tuning in to what excites and disturbs you about it, what you’d like to see done differently. From there, a compelling and mobilizing “why” will naturally emerge.

By focusing on what matters to you, you benefit and connect with others, who then feed that energy back to you. A virtuous cycle. THAT is how you profit from your passion.

If we lead from purpose instead of profit, evolution will ensue. If profit precedes purpose, extinction will be the result.

So now it’s your turn. What’s personal to you? What specific action steps will you take to lead from that purpose? Please let us know below so we can start following you.

For more on the power of leading with your why, our weekly digest can help. You can get it free here.