What is your why?

16th May 2011

A little over a week ago, I had the opportunity to attend Chick-fil-A Leadercast, an all-day event in downtown Atlanta that brings together some of the best and brightest in leadership thanks to my amazing coworker, Lindsay Reene and her friends at the UGA ILA.

One of the best questions of the day for me was “What is you why?” Not your what, your why. Why do you do what you do? Not what do you do. It’s tough question, a year out of college, my answer should probably be, to pay the bills, but it’s not.

Dave Ramsey shared a few thoughts on finding your passion in your daily workplace that I feel we can all challenge ourselves with, and hopefully find our why in the process.

1. Dreams matter: Remember when you were little and there was no doubt in your mind that you were going to be a ballerina despite having no dancing capabilities (maybe that was just me). Think like a kid again, set lofty goals and stick to them, things don’t have to happen tomorrow.

2. An excellent team matters: Luckily, I have an amazing team who teaches me every, single day. Take the time to learn about those around you, learn how you can grow from them and how you can help them grow in return, you never know where a small gesture will take you.

3. Slow and steady wins: It’s not always about big numbers, big clients, or being the boss, sometimes just sitting back and taking your time is all that you need to move forward.

4. Be generous: You never know when going the 2nd mile will make the world of difference. Go the extra mile on to touch up that powerpoint document, or put the extra thought into the brainstorm and don’t forget about the people who need your help along the way.

5. A higher calling matters: Take the steps to ask the way, to find where you want to be, because that’s how you will get through the tough days.

Finding why you have made it to where you are and where you see yourself going in the future is no easy task. It’s not a sudden realization but a series of baby steps, and I hope I can continue to apply some of these types of leadership to my own professional journey and live that way everyday.