How to Gain Valuable Insight About Your “Why”

We may realize we’ve disconnected from our why...

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While speaking with existing clients and prospects, I hear a recurring theme which I want to address—why do we do what we do? At some point in our careers, we may realize we’ve disconnect from our why.

The following piece is an excerpt from my Amazon #1 bestselling
released October 2017, Fearless
Women at Work, Five Powerful Strategies to Thrive in Your Career and Life!

Your why is one of three key components of your “unique value proposition.” The other two—your superpowers and your marketable skills—are also important and I’ll talk about them in future articles.

Your “unique value proposition” is intrinsic to your personal brand. It’s what distinguishes you from others who presumably perform a role like yours. When your unique value proposition resonates with others—employers, employees, peers, clients, business partners, friends, and so on—they will choose to do business or associate with you.

Do you want to have the tools to position yourself attractively within your company or for a potential employer? 

 To create the most value for your company, leverage your natural skills and passions, and change the world for the better? 

 Do you want to boost your confidence in your personal life, feel good about yourself, and own your value as the person you are? 

 This is one way to accomplish that. Let’s start by exploring your why.

Your “Why”

If you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, or watched his TED talk, I highly recommend it. The essence of his message is that people don’t buy what you do or how you do it; they buy why you do it. 

So, to position yourself and your offer for success and to inspire employees and clients to follow you and build rapport with mentors and sponsors, begin by sharing your why, then move on to the how, and finally describe the what.

When you focus on your marketable skills, you’re focusing on your what and how—what you do for a living and how you go about doing it, with integrity, and innovation, for example. But let’s explore your why. 

Why do you do what you do every single day? 

Consider both the professional and personal aspects of your why.

How to Discover It

What do you intrinsically believe that creates your drive and inspiration?

During the first half of my life, the key driver and why were primal survival. I wanted to fend for myself, have financial freedom, have choices and possibilities, and provide for my family. 

Today, my why is simple. I believe what many of us are doing in the corporate world is not working. I suffered from burnout in my job, too. I started from humble beginnings, and I’m so grateful to have overcome what appeared to be intractable challenges. 

From the outside looking in, it seemed “I had made it,” but I paid the “price of success”…. And the healing process, the journey I’m on, giving back and contributing is what I want to share with other leaders who face so many of the same challenges at work. This is my why today.

As you know, many traditional corporate environments are designed to be rigid, and if we continue to act like our counterparts and propagate this modus operandi, as I did for so long, we’re not going to make it without burning out. 

Owning our power, stepping into our self-worth, and embracing our feminine leadership attributes as we claim more senior roles will slowly begin to shift the corporate environment and create more equality for women and men so we can both have successful careers and families.

Digging Deeper

To dig a little deeper about your why, ask yourself, “What do I think the world needs the most?” Your answer is part of your why.

In my case, I also believe the world needs more female role models in senior leadership roles, especially in traditional corporate environments. Ironically, those environments present the most challenges for women to move up the ranks without dropping out (the “leaky management pipeline” syndrome). 

We need more women in senior roles who can begin to affect positive change, but in part, without female role models who can show them it’s possible, talented women continue to steer away from these roles, and faced with the rigidity and what seem insurmountable challenges, they continue to drop out of the pipeline, and the vicious cycle continues.

Throughout my career in Technology, I was primarily surrounded by men in senior roles. In one of my departments of 134 people, I was 1 out of 11 women in the whole department, and the only one in a senior role, or in any management role for that matter. Female role models within my own department were nonexistent. 

Part of my “why” is to help break the vicious cycle and assist companies and talented professionals, especially women, to stay in the leadership pipeline and ascend to senior ranks.

Your Why in a Nutshell

Connect with your why; get clear on what makes you tick. 

For many of us, it’s to take care of our families, to keep a roof over our heads, and that’s valid, our need for certainty. And, I want to challenge you to consider, “What else?” 

Are you willing to take me up on this challenge? 

If you were to take a few steps outside of your comfort zone, what else makes you tick? 

What inspires you, or what social conditions make your blood boil? 

These are all aspects of your why.

In the meantime…

Be fearless! (act despite the fear)

Dr. Ginny A. Baro is a Fortune 100 executive coach for talented professionals at all levels of management, speaker, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work. For more of her work, join her newsletter to receive valuable strategies delivered to your inbox and access today Chapter 11 of her #1 bestselling book to learn how to tap into your unique leadership style, career and life ambition, earning power, and more! read her blog, get a copy of her new book, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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