Jul
09

Your Why is more Important than Your What

posted on July 9th, 2019 in Professional Development; Leave a Comment

Since there are no bookstores left in my community, I’ve returned to one of my favorite childhood pastimes, the library. The library still fills me up and even more than a bookstore, it provides more opportunity than ever to try out books and magazines that when purchasing them, I would not.

With my shopping tote in hand, I pick up titles that intrigue me both nonfiction and fiction. Two that have captured my attention and even made it to “Buy now” on Amazon are Beyond the Mat by Dr. Julie Rosenberg, M.D. and The Purpose Path by Nicholas Pearce.

If you’re not a big reader (or listener, a nod to Audible) or are, add both of these books to your list. They are both worth reading, and while they have different perspectives, they both dive in and discuss how to be a more authentic person and leader by bringing all of yourself together and finding the tools to be lead more effectively than ever. 

As I was reading The Purpose Path, it occurred to me that so much of what he talks about relates to what we speak with people about every day. Often when people call us and are exploring and pursuing job/career transition, new business opportunities, changing positions within the organization, they are not sure how to compile and present themselves to the world via LinkedIn. What Pearce is talking about is SO much more significant than LinkedIn. I understand that. LinkedIn is one way to share who you are, and it needs to be authentic and real, not a glossy version of someone you might not even recognize.

Pearce talks about vocational courage ― boldly building a life of significance and not just importance. He goes on to say,

“vocational courage is about connecting deeply with who you are and why you’re here so that you can thrive in a society that constantly challenges the dignity and worth of our humanness.”

Pearce is a professor, pastor, and executive consultant and he explains beautifully how his vocation plays out in multiple ways. He says,

“I have a single vocation that motivates and encapsulates the work I am called to do on this earth. It is one vocation that plays out in a variety of ways on a variety of platforms  ― each supporting and intertwining with the others in interesting and powerful ways.”

Stop. Think about how Pearce describes his vocation.  Your vocation is your calling, your life’s work, and not just your job or work activities. It’s not another word for career. 

We work with executive coaches, trainers, speakers, authors, thought leaders and consultants who have multiple businesses, practices, and gigs happening simultaneously and they often aren’t sure how to communicate those various elements effectively. 

If you’re not careful, it may appear you have so much going on you can’t possibly do them all well. That is not what you want to communicate. However, I think if you present yourself from your “why” or your “vocation” and zoom out, you can express more eloquently and effectively how you serve others, why others work with you. People can then decide if you’re the person that makes sense for them to connect with and know. 

Pearce talks a great deal about authenticity and letting people get to know you. People want to get to know the person, not the “profile image,” they want something real and tangible. 

If I were to meet Nicholas Pearce, I have a good idea of how that initial meeting might go. I have a strong sense that the person who shows up in the book, on a podcast, in church or classroom would be the same person who would show up in a conference room or on social media. Even his photo conveys authenticity and joy.

After finishing the book, I immediately searched and found a podcast with Pearce. The next time you’re walking your dog, driving, are thinking about who you are and how you should convey that to the world or are simply relaxing and need to be lifted up, listen to the Second City Works podcast with Nicholas Pearce

Now, think about the five questions Pearce mentions at the beginning of the book:

What is success?

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Am I running the right race?

Am I running the race well?

These are important and powerful questions that help you calibrate or recalibrate you and your vocation. Then take on crafting your next website, LinkedIn profile, and vocation. 

Colleen McKenna launched Intero Advisory for businesses focused on increasing their sales and talent initiatives. Since 2011 Intero Advisory, a LinkedIn consulting, coaching and training firm has been engaged by more than 240 companies. Intero shakes up the status quo with a 'personal' approach to business by maximizing an individual's network, personal brand, and expertise.

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