Published February 22, 2016

Uncovering Your “White Hot Why?” | One Woman’s Leap of Faith Toward God’s Call

Denny (right) with her friends at her bucket-list visit to the Summit in South Barrington.

Denny (right) with her friends at her bucket-list visit to the Summit in South Barrington.

Denny Meadows spent the first 10 years after college wondering whether she was on the right track.  Though she went on to build a successful career with Fortune 500 companies working in senior strategy and financial roles, something tugged at her heart, calling her to her true passion and purpose. “I began to experience kind of a ‘crisis of meaning.’  Business just didn’t feel like the right path for me anymore,” she said. There was something about remembering her own experience after college, when she was trying to discover her purpose, that helped her uncover what she was most passionate about.

A Leap of Faith

“Three years ago, I left the corporate world in order to pursue my give-back goal of helping young adults connect with their purpose,” said Denny. “Every day for me now is a tiny leap of faith. When I left my corporate career, I left my professional identity and financial security behind in order to create a field that doesn’t exist in service to a need that was only on a hunch. I can’t fully explain the steps that led me to this work, but I can tell you three years later that the need is even bigger and more pressing than I imagined.  If God chooses to use me, I am here to serve joyfully.”

Denny founded and leads SilverFern Advisory with a mission to help colleges and universities succeed in igniting the talents and passions of their students. “It’s been both exhilarating and exhausting to immerse myself in the problem, to pull up and create the vision, to attempt to articulate the value proposition and to develop the foundational relationships,” said Denny. “The two markets I serve are either notoriously poor (students) or understandably reluctant to embrace input from the outside (higher-education).  And yet here I am, because I care deeply about ensuring that students are equipped to make the leap from a great education to a meaningful career.”

Clarifying a Vision

Denny believes that we have an opportunity – and responsibility – to act boldly to prepare the next generation of leaders, innovators and change agents to find their place in a world that desperately needs their vision, their creativity, and their desire to make a difference.  “I want to help young adults avoid the first 10 years of wondering whether they got it right, so they can focus instead on developing the skills, passions and expertise they’ll need to have the kind of impact that matters to them.”

“On the surface it seems completely different from my corporate strategy work, but at the core it’s remarkably similar. What I love doing more than anything is figuring out how to make sense of complex issues so that solutions and actions become surprisingly clear. My deepest desire is to help organizations and individuals be their very best, whether it’s companies serving their customers, or colleges serving their students.”

“I call myself a Career Launch Advisor,” said Denny. “But ultimately I am a servant. My goal is to use my own God-given talents, in ways that are only limited by my courage and imagination, in order to help colleges and universities further their mission of preparing students for lives of consequence.” As Denny points out, “Everyone wins when we invest in discovering and pursuing our purpose: individuals win, their colleges and universities win, and our communities win.”

Denny’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal

Denny’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal is for every college to provide every student with access to the tools needed to discover his or her own unique path and purpose. “The old career services model just doesn’t work anymore. The world is a different place today.  There’s much more choice, and much more competition.”Yet sometimes progress in creating a new model, said Denny, “feels frustratingly slow. It’s a challenge to be patient yet persistent in earning the opportunity to contribute to a cause that is ultimately so important.”

Equipped for the Call through the Global Leadership Summit

That’s where the Summit comes in. It equips Denny for her Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Denny has been taking the Summit’s fresh ideas, encouragement and inspiration and using them to fuel her vision. “Sometimes my service mission feels like just another one of those ‘dumb ideas’ that Albert Tate talked about at the Summit in 2015,” she said. “I’ve told myself from the very beginning that I hold this mission in the palm of my open hand; if God wants to use me then something will happen, and if he doesn’t then it will go nowhere.  At the Summit, there were countless messages that I felt I was supposed to hear as encouragement from God to keep going. Things like, ‘Never underestimate the power of a dumb idea.’ Or, ‘Bring what you’ve got and get out of the way.’ Or ‘Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing.’  Or Craig Groeschel’s line, ‘You may be one relationship away from changing the course of your destiny.’”

“Thanks to GLS, I have a renewed sense of purpose, more guiding principles to live by and an ample boost of energy. As leaders, each of us needs to push on our own purpose and our own ‘Why?’  to the point of feeling the anger or frustration or elation that feeds our conviction, fuels our motivation, and helps us persevere.”


What fuels your white-hot why? Denny encourages leaders to attend the Summit and discover how it can fuel your ‘why’ the way that it has fueled hers. “Take a tiny leap of faith that God has something planned for you August 11-12, 2016. If you show up with expectation, you won’t be disappointed.”

To register for the Global Leadership Summit, go to

About the Author
Global Leadership Network

Global Leadership Network

GLN Staff Writer

The Global Leadership Network is a community committed to learning from each other and using our influence to accomplish God’s purposes on earth. No matter where your influence is, when you commit to grow your leadership, everyone around you wins—businesses work for good, communities are transformed and churches thrive! Both global and diverse, our network includes partners in 1,400+ cities and 135+ countries. We are committed to deliver fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content both at The Global Leadership Summit, and year-round through our digital platforms.

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