by Michael Baker, MS Ed, Certified WeAlign Coach
In 2009 the renowned thought leader, Simon Sinek, wrote Start With Why. Realizing that you must know your ‘why’ before you begin, he released Find Your Why in 2017. Did he get it wrong? Of course not. Was he ahead of his thought process? Possibly.
Let’s examine the question of ‘why?’ To ask ‘why’ as a coach or manager is not the best question to ask. It can be construed as judgmental and accusatory. “Why did you do that?” “Why didn’t you follow procedure?” Immediately the answer comes from a defensive position and the potential for good communication hits a roadblock.
Finding your ‘why’ also means finding your purpose. Is your purpose to BE something or to DO something? Does having a PhD in colonial US history give someone purpose? Or does having a PhD and teaching history at the local college? Or is your purpose derived from your intent? I prefer the third option, intent.
As individuals search for meaning in their lives they seek purpose, equating purpose with their ‘why.’ Often, they come up empty, or create an answer that sounds good but really doesn’t have the impact required to transform their life in a meaningful way. Seeking ‘why’ in this manner falls short because there is no foundation for the answer. Rather, we should create our foundation with ‘why’ and then build on what we learn to act with purpose. Meaning comes from purposeful action. In that, lies the answer we seek.
Therefore, ‘why’ becomes your foundation. ‘Why’ is who you are, innately. It is your genuine identity, your God-given gifts and talents. It is proven that when you know who you are and what you are good at your life will grow exponentially. Find your foundation first and you will begin to act with purpose. Intent will then have new meaning, and you begin to grow in your foundation, your ‘why.’
Poor stewardship of what you are given is wasteful. Acting purposefully and applying your talents is like the Parable of Talents in Matthew 25. Apply your God-given talents for good and you will have abundance. Isn’t abundance what we really seek? And in your heart of hearts you know that abundance is not always material or monetary. Sometimes it’s just doing good work and feeling accomplished enough to want to do more. Because you are doing what you are good at, and it feels good doing it.
My mantra is “Know Your Strengths, Act With Purpose, Live In Abundance.” On a daily basis, I seek this for myself and others. Finding your talents and strengths is not difficult. There are several talent assessments that will give you a starting point. I work and coach on the CliftonStrengths® assessment.
Michael Baker, head coach at Michael Baker Coaching, holds a Masters in Education, is a Certified WeAlign Coach and a Certified Strengths Champion. His mission, is to help individuals discover their strengths, transform their life, and fulfill God’s plan. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Know You Strengths • Act With Purpose • Live In Abundance
Michael Baker, head coach at Michael Baker Coaching, holds a Masters in Education, is a Certified WeAlign Coach and a Certified Strengths Champion. His mission, is to help individuals discover their strengths, transform their life, and fulfill God’s plan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Know You Strengths • Act With Purpose • Live In Abundance