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Want Work that Feels Expansive? Find Your Noble Intention with Jill Donahue (Episode #173)

Jill Donahue has a story that is a shining example of how it is possible to respond to tragedy in a positive way that opens a life of purpose. Working in pharma, Jill responded to her family’s health tragedy with a renewed energy to empower her colleagues in pharma to love their work and do better at it by connecting with their purpose to change lives. To that end, she’s become an author and sought-after speaker, sharing what she’s learned about connecting with and living your purpose at work to create better outcomes for everyone.



About Our Guest:

Jill Donahue is a remarkable individual who embodies the spirit of positive change and purpose-driven action. She is a researcher, teacher, author, and speaker, who is constantly lifting others up through her acclaimed program, The Power of Purpose

Jill has juts recently released a new book called A Dose of Inspiration: 100 Purpose Stories From Pharma Leaders that celebrates the stories and noble intentions of change-makers in the pharmaceutical industry. You can download it for FREE here or buy the paperback on Amazon.

Yes, in today’s episode, we will shine a light on leadership in an oft-maligned field, but Jill will also share with us—through a very unique lens—how we can get closer to feeling like we are working with deeper, more purposeful intentions, no matter what our occupation.

It’s true that there are some bad actors in the world of pharma—like in every profession—but there are also some amazing minds, and gigantic hearts there too, and their stories can inspire us all. It’s worth remembering that while the mainstream news media can’t seem to give airtime to anything that isn’t negative, we will hear it at the Goodness Exchange—and there are two sides to every coin, even this one.

Jill Donahue’s mission is to help her colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry discover the key roles they play in improving the lives of others—and she somehow made that shift in perspective at age 35, after she lost her father due to a prescription error. This devastating loss ignited a passionate inquiry within Jill, a question that would shape her life’s purpose: 

“How could this tragedy have been prevented?

Her quest for answers led her to discover the immense potential for positive change within the life sciences, through things as simple as improved communication and a patient-focused, purpose-driven mindset.

Through extensive research and enlightening conversations with experts worldwide, Jill not only identified the critical mistakes within the industry that made those tragic outcomes possible, but she also uncovered transformative solutions. She became a beacon of hope for life-science professionals, empowering them with the skills and confidence to make a profound difference in the world.

In addition to her academic and professional accomplishments, Jill Donahue is also a prolific author, and co-founder of the non-profit Aurora Project, a group of thought leaders like her trying to get pharma on a more patient-centric path. Her latest program, The Power of Purpose, has garnered acclaim from pharmaceutical professionals for its transformational impact on their teams.

Jill Donahue’s journey perfectly embodies the ethos of the Conspiracy of Goodness Podcast, celebrating individuals who are quietly working to make the world a better place. Her relentless pursuit of a purpose-driven pharmaceutical industry is an inspiration to us all, reminding us that even in the face of adversity, goodness and progress are attainable.

Join us as we delve into the incredible story and mission of Jill Donahue, a true catalyst for the conspiracy of goodness unfolding all around us.

As a bonus, Jill has kindly shared some amazing summaries from some of her favorite books:

References Mentioned:


  • 00:00 – Intro & Welcome
  • 03:27 – From Loss to Impact: Jill’s Purposeful Journey
  • 04:56 – Purpose in Every Pharma Role
  • 08:59 – Ethical Engagement and Purposeful Influence
  • 13:27 – Purpose: The Key to Engagement & Profit
  • 15:11 – Your ‘Why:’ Foundation of Purposeful Living
  • 16:53 – Break
  • 19:03 – Purpose for a Better World and Workplace
  • 22:03 – A Tale of Loss and Purpose with Jill
  • 24:13 – Professional Growth Through Purpose
  • 27:20 – Trust and Engagement Through Purpose
  • 30:15 – The Heart of Purpose-Driven Work
  • 32:01 – Driving Work with Curiosity and Learning
  • 34:30 – Fostering a Culture of Purposeful Leadership
  • 37:01 – Purpose-Driven Approach to Challenges
  • 39:38 – Solutions Through the Lens of Purpose
  • 42:14 – A Future Vision for Purpose-Driven Pharma
  • 44:45 – Embracing Growth Through Purpose
  • 47:03 – Final Call: Embrace Life & Work Purpose
  • 50:00 – Closing

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