Find Your Why
This is a referral of one of Simon Sinek’s bestseller books – Find Your Why. Even though some people might categorize this book under the theme of business, Find Your Why is not a commercial exercise nor academic exercise. It is deeply personal exploration to one’s core and how to inspire others to do so. It is about finding the purpose of life and work. This book is on a mission to inspire people to work on themselves to find the reasons why they do what they do – not how they do it.
The chapters of this book have been organized in a way that supports the find-your-why -process. Everything starts with why, obviously. The properly presented theory of ‘why’ builds confidence to the process and following chapter gives an overview of it. Next Sinek presents the concrete roadmap towards one’s own why discovery and then it’s time to focus on how to find the why for a company. The book gives lot of tools and tips for how to facilitate a workshop of why-discovery. In the end, it is not a book of self-help, it’s more about helping others.
START WITH WHY
Why means purpose. It is the thing that drives us and knowing your purpose will help you feel fulfilled, which is one of the basic needs of human beings. Each of us has the why but a blurry vision of it can cause a desperate situation where you get frustrated with your work and lose your passion. Knowing the purpose why you do things, your work for example, will affect positively on your productivity (Sinek 2017, chapter 1.).
FINDING YOUR WHY
The basic formula of the process is gathering stories from the past, identifying the most important themes from them and finally drafting and refining the why statement. Remember that the why is same whether you think as professional you or just yourself.
First step of finding your why as an individual is that find a partner who runs the process with you. The point is that the partner offers a whole different perspective and deepens the process by taking notes and forcing you to be more specific. A brilliant way to get your partner on the same page with you, is to show him or her a TedTalk from Simon Sinek (Sinek 2017, chapter 2.).
Then set up a time and place with your partner and gather your stories in advance. It is vitally important that you share the most meaningful stories of your lifetime because your why borns from your past experiences. Think of the peaks and valleys of your life. Think of specific people who have had most influence in your life and what kind of impact have they caused to you. When it’s time to share these stories with your partner, make sure that you share more than you are comfortable with. This is the moment when your partner takes the lead and asks you to be more specific and dig deeper (Sinek 2017, chapter 3.).
It’s time to identify the themes and draft the why statement. If a same thing has shown up in at least three stories, it becomes a theme. The most impactful themes are the ones you can use when you start thinking about your why statement. The form of why sentence is “ ______ so that ______ “. The first blank tells the contribution you make to other people and the second blank represents the impact of your contribution Sinek 2017, chapter 3). Remember not to fall in love with your first why statement because it’s a draft and you should give yourself couple of days to rethink and refine it. As soon as you are pleased and excited with your why statement, start to live it!
WHY DISCOVERY FOR A COMPANY
Sinek presented an idea of tribe approach – a way to lead a group of people through a tough process of finding the why. The formula is again the same; gather stories, identify theme and draft the why statement. It only gets harder when there’s more people involved in the process.
First you need to find a facilitator who knows the process, has an objective look on the company and has the trust of everyone in the process. Then you need once again set up a time and place for the workshop, invite the people and then let the facilitator take care of the process.
Workshop starts with an introduction of the process including the goals and schedule. The process follows the same steps as an individual process. The why discovery starts with dividing into smaller groups and every group will get three topics to discuss. First subject is to think what have made people most proud in the history of the company and recognize the themes behind the stories. Then they get to discuss about their own contribution in the company and last they need to dig deeper and figure out what kind of impact have they made to human lives.
When the three conversations have successfully completed, it’s again time to draft the why statements and share them with other groups. When all the why statements have been declared, it’s time to rank the best of them and continue refining them after couple of days.
Find Your Why, Simon Sinek, 2017