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Why I Do What I Do: Start With Your Big Why Activity
Why I Do What I Do: Start With Your Big Why Activity
Why I Do What I Do: Start With Your Big Why Activity
Why I Do What I Do: Start With Your Big Why Activity
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Why I Do What I Do: Start With Your Big Why Activity

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Award winning business coach Andrew Priestley specialises in helping manager/leaders to become more successful through being more authentic. This richly rewarding 20-minute activity taps into why you …

Award winning business coach Andrew Priestley specialises in helping manager/leaders to become more successful through being more authentic. This richly rewarding 20-minute activity taps into why you do what you do. Its inspired by Simon Sinek's book Start With Why.

Published in: Business, Health & Medicine
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  • 1. “Can’t recommend this enough!” “Why do you do what you do?” Explore you ‘big why’. Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why suggests that your customers actually buy why you do what you do, more than what you do. And yet we rarely take the time to express that clearly. Business people who take the time to why report immense In this richly rewarding tutorial, award-winning business coach Andrew Priestley gives you a fabulous 20-minute activity that will start to tap into why you do what you do.
  • 2. ! “Why do you do what you do” Activity Andrew Priestley is an award-winning business coach, mentor, speaker and author and head trainer for the Key Person of Influence Programme in the UK. When Andrew starts working with coaching clients he often recommends they complete this activity. Invariably, it provides invaluable context for achieving high performance. This is a profound tutorial that will help you tap into your mountain of value both personally and professionally. Enjoy! _________________ Start here I recently worked with a client who was in the fire protection industry. Specifically, he supplies fire suppression kits for very large vehicles. This is a highly specialised, very fiddly, detailed mechanical engineering field that is quite hard to explain to nonengineers. But I asked, “Why do you do what you do?” The technical answer was very important but the personal reasons were totally fascinating and made compelling listening. None of that information up till that point had seen the light of day. And yet it ticks away in the background steering and shaping every installation project. Not even my client’s staff knew the ‘back story’. I asked him to share this with his team and the changes at work have been immense. “I didn’t think this information was that special.” My client is lucky because he does know why he does what he does. He just hadn’t shared it. Another client did this activity and realised that once he started exploring why he did what he did he realised that the business he had did not reflect his reasons for doing that work. It took over a year to make the changes he wanted, but the business now has a heart and soul that resonates with more of the right customers. © 2014 The Coaching Experience Ltd Leadership genius Warren Bennis1 said, “You are your own raw material. Only when you know what you’re made of and what you want can you really live your life. The best way of learning from yourself is to reflect on who you are ... and what you believe.” And only you know why you do what you do. Simon Sinek2 suggests in his book Start With Why that your customers actually buy why you do what you do rather than what you do. What you do is important – of course – but his research suggests that why you do what you do builds long-term relationships and connection as well as loyalty. As he says, “From now on, start with Why.” I discovered that most of the clients I work with who feel unfulfilled or feel they haven’t realised their potential and even have suffered a crisis of meaning have overly focused on the What and How without fully exploring the Why. Taking the time to explore and create context is what makes your life a deeper, richer and more fulfilling experience. So … … this is the exercise gets you thinking about your big why. So let’s go … _________________ 1. Schedule 20 minutes It’s important to schedule 20 uninterrupted minutes with yourself. Find somewhere quiet, turn off the phone and hold all interruptions. 2. Grab a coffee Essentially, get comfortable. 3. Get your smart phone and find the Voice Recorder app. OK, find the app turn it on, press record. 4. Answer the question, “Why do I do what I do?” Just start talking. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 2 Bennis. W. (2009) On Becoming a Leader. Basic Books. Sinek. S. (2009) Start with why. Portfolio Penguin. 1
  • 3. ! Clearly, you have several reasons for doing what you do. Park answers like, “Because it pays well.” At your level I wouldn’t expect that anyway as the key reason for doing what you do. The temptation here is to give you more examples but I have found it you just press record and start talking … even if it is slow to start … keep talking. Initially you might find you are talking in bullet points, but eventually you should find that you open up and become more conversational and explain more. If you were being interviewed on air a good interviewer would ask you to clarify or say more. So you do the same. i) Some people keep repeating the statement and include different endings. “I do what I do because ... I‘m I studied that at university.” (Say why you chose that degree). “I do what I do because ... I started working in this industry when I was a teenager and loved it.” (Say why.) Get the idea? ii) Other people expand more on each point. “I’m a wine merchant because my dad was a cattle farmer who lived just above broke. When I was holidaying in California on my gap year I visited a vineyard that was originally a dairy farm and realized the conditions were almost identical. As a hobby I grew a few cab-sav grapes and they flourished. It just went from there. Eventually dad and I converted the whole farm to grapes. I guess dad and I were always close and I loved working with my dad but the difference was I didn’t want to be a dairy man and dad didn’t want me to continue this way either …” See how easily you can find the origins of your current work in the past? Again, I am sorely tempted to give you some examples, but you have to trust yourself. You actually do know why you’re doing what you’re doing. © 2014 The Coaching Experience Ltd One tip only: dig deep. You may choose to not use any of what is recorded. I encourage clients to convert these recording to collateral that can be used to help promote your business but you may decide to use only some or none of what gets recorded. As an example, one key reason why my fire safety client does what he does is because he witnessed a fire on a mining site that ended tragically. Without going into any more detail saving lives is probably the biggest reason he does what he does. But having said that it is very hard – still – for him to talk about. And something he will not use in his marketing. You are 100% in control of how this is used later – but for now talk it out. Record it. Say what ever is true for you. No one else has to hear this recording ever. This activity is for you most of all. A bonus is you can and will use what you’ve recorded. 5. Keep going for about 20-minutes then stop. For now, don’t do more much than 20-minutes. You can always come back and do Part 2. 6. Listen back to the recording with a pen and paper (at this session or a subsequent session). Right! Listen to your own voice. Allow it to sink in. Listen back and make notes. Stop the recording if you need to reflect further or get inspired. (You will get inspired!) Most of my clients actually gain new insights from the playback. Sometimes they are really important distinctions. Other times you will have new insights. This is your time to reflect. Many clients arrive at decision or action points as well. So list any ‘to-dos’ that come from this session. _________________ OK. Next steps? 2
  • 4. ! Repeat and Rinse – (as my nana would say). Do the activity again. saying stuff you think others want you to say. You might start to spin things. I Archive – You will end up with an MP3 file. I recommend you archive these MP3 recordings. They make fascinating listening a year from today or five years from today. Transcribe – I recommend you get onto Elance and get the MP3 transcribed because … Collateral/IP – Turn it into collateral. There is a whole content management argument that goes hand in hand with social media and the need to be relational and create digital downloadable relational content. Simon Sinek’s argument is that people by why you sell more than what you sell. You can edit and top and tail your authentic ‘I believe’ transcript and make it available as a digital downloadable PDF relational piece on your website, for example. Most people have an About page. This is a great About page piece! If you sense that you are spinning, then stop, get another cupper and start again or do it later. This is a hand on heart exercise. Warren Bennis again on reflecting: “Faced with your own mortality you may realize that what you’ve been doing, what you’re invested in is not an accurate reflection of your real needs and desires.” So you should perhaps occasionally alter the statement to read, ‘Why I really do what I do …’ (This is also a great Lunch and Learn activity to do with your staff, by the way. Ask them, “Why do we do what we do?” And record it! You might be amazed at what your team say. But again, a great activity for another day. Start with you first.) Hope this helps As an example I did this activity and it shows up as Why I Coach on my website. Here’s the link. http://www.andrewpriestley.com/201401_AP _WHY.pdf Repurpose – This is a big discussion for perhaps another tutorial but once you’ve got it you can repurpose this content into reports, tutorials, downloadable PDFs, embedded email links, YouTube videos, SlideShare uploads, Tweets, Facebook Posts, MP3 interviews and so on. (For your benefit, most online content can be repurposed into things people can watch, read, listen to and do.) Repackage – Again a big discussion for another tutorial but the big idea here is to use packaging and pricing structures to bundle or unbundle your IP. There is always a but … …but for now, do this just for you. The big danger in doing this activity is talking as if there was a wider audience listening in. You can easily cease to be authentic and start © 2014 The Coaching Experience Ltd Andrew Priestley Testimonials and Feedback I would love to add some testimonials or feedback to the next revision so please email me at info@andrewpriestley.com Contact Andrew Priestley Web: www.andrewpriestley.com or www.the-coaching-experience.com Email: info@andrewpriestley.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TCE.HQ Twitter @arpriestley Skype: priestley1 Phone: +44 (0) 7879 33006 Note: Why the robot? To remind you that a life lived on auto is not as fulfilling. 3

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