Why? The Most Important Question

“So Kene what's your why?" Eric asked as he took a swig of his favorite scotch.
Not sure what he meant, I asked "What? What do you mean?"
"Why do you speak on Finding Your Sweet Spot?"
"If people discover their Sweet Spot, they'll have a fulfilling career" I said, thinking I nailed the answer.
"Why is that important?" He asked. I guess I didn't nail it.
"Because most people hate their jobs."
"Because they don't know what their talents are."

I wondered if the Scotch had kicked in; only a 2 year old would ask 'why, why, why?' But I knew, what he was doing. "Why should people use their talents?" He asked. I took a big gulp of my Merlot this time. I could have given an answer but it dawned on me that Eric was more interested in making sure I got the point of the question than he was in hearing the answer.

 My mind flashed back to August 2001. I had just started an internship program at Equip, a non-profit leadership development organization owned by John Maxwell. Dick Wynn, my boss and VP of Emerging Young Leaders, asked me in my first week "what's your life vision Kene?”  I gave my best explanation but from the look on his face, I could tell that my response was quite empty.

"Sounds like you have a vague idea of what you'd like to do, but you don't have a clear vision and mission for your life."
"What do I need to do Dick?" I asked.
"I'll teach you how to develop your vision and mission statement." And he did.

Why then 12 years later, here at midnight, in this Irish pub in New York, was I not clear on my new why? It was obvious to Eric like it was to Dick, that I had a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish but I was not crystal clear. I had my work cut out for me. I would spend the next 2 months getting crystal clear on why I want people to discover, develop and apply their talents in a fulfilling career.

The why question helps us clarify our motives, and then we can set clearer goals. I'm prone to take action on new ventures or things about which I get excited. My wife has learned to indulge me for a while; if it's a fleeting interest, it'll fizzle out soon. If it's not, then she observes me for a while. At some point, she'll ask me the "why" question.

After I published my first book "Finding Your Sweet Spot," I quickly realized that it would make more sense to start a company that focused on creating seminars and workshops. I did this initially because I heard that John Maxwell started his company Injoy for the same reason; to help put resources in the hands of people who need them. I thought it was a better way of marketing as well. When Lucy asked me the "why" question, I really had to step back and give it some thought. I had to dig deep and ask myself why. Why do I want to start a new company? Why do I wasn't to sell resources? Why do I want to speak? It all led back to the main why; the reason I'm alive. I had to connect the “what I do” to the “why I do it.”

Do you know why you do what you do? Once you know why you are, ensure that your what, your actions, are focused on helping you fulfill the why.

So to Eric, here’s my why; to help people live a fulfilling life by discovering and using their talents.



Talent Resources

DNA of Talent
A Blueprint for Discovering Your Talents and Putting Them to Work

Finding Your Sweet Spot
Where your Talents, Interests and Passions converge to deliver the life you were born to live.