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Find your Forte


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Find your Forte

  1. 1. FIND YOUR FORTEThe how-to guide for finding meaningful work. ©Copyright Edwin Jansen. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Guide to the GuideSection OneWhat is ‘Finding Your Forte’ all about?Section TwoDefine your HOW’sSection ThreeDiscover your WHYSection FourCapture your WHAT’sSection FiveUse your Forte to find (or create) your DREAM JOBSection SixOther things to assist your adventure
  3. 3. What is ‘Finding your Forte’ all about? Section One
  4. 4. Find your FORTEEveryone wants to do meaningful work. But the sad reality is that thevast majority of people don’t love their jobs.But you aren’t going to spend your life as one of those people. Yourealize that if you could just figure out what you’re really looking for ina dream job, then you will throw everything you got into it.Finding your FORTE is the first step towards loving your work. Becauseyou probably need to know what you love before you can love it.The FORTE concept is simple. It’s the intersection of three simplequestions: WHY? HOW? WHAT?When you figure out the answers to these questions, you have foundyour FORTE. And that’s when the magic starts to happen.
  5. 5. Alignment of Intrinsic Drivers = your FORTE WHY The difference I want to make PURPOSE FORTE HOW WHAT Personal values & traits Aptitude, skills, & exp. AUTONOMY MASTERY
  6. 6. A job that fits your FORTE makes you a great candidate WHY The difference I want to make PURPOSE Most Most Creative Dedicated FORTE HOW High WHAT Personal values & traits Quality Aptitude, skills, & exp. AUTONOMY Work MASTERY
  7. 7. A job that is not your FORTE is a FAIL WHY The difference I want to make PURPOSEEPIC FAIL EPIC FAIL Ability Happiness FAIL FAIL FORTE HOW Meaning WHAT Personal values & traits FAIL Aptitude, skills, & exp. AUTONOMY MASTERY EPIC FAIL
  8. 8. Example: Edwin’s ForteMy purpose is to challenge & coach theambitious yet unfulfilled, to do meaningfulwork, so that the institution of business lives upto it’s potential, and more people findhappiness, success & fulfillment. AREAS SKILLS/TALENTS WHY Marketing Communications People Mgmt. Leadership Career Coaching Biz Strategy Org. Dev. Content Mktg. Social Media Influencing Entrepreneurship Presenting Sales Team Building FORTE Business Dev. Brainstorming Sustainability Purpose Dev. HOW WHATMake a Difference (impact, altruism)Find the Insight (wisdom, truth)Get it Started (initiate, empowered)Challenge & Change (innovate)Coach the Team (collaborate, mentor)
  9. 9. The FORTE Roadmap of Questions My purpose in life is to [actions I do, for who or what] so that [the value or difference created] What ideal future do I want What bigger difference do I to contribute to? VISION CAUSES want to be a part of? WHY What are life’s truths? What needs of others do I BELIEFS SERVICE love to serve? What are my What am I great tendencies when at? I’m at my best? FORTE TRAITS TALENTS What is most important to me? VALUES HOW WHAT SKILLS What can I do? ENVIRONMENT KNOWLEDGE What do I know andIn what type of setting and role am I at my how is it useful? best?
  10. 10. Start with the IntrinsicBy the way, two books, Start with Why by Simon Sinek, and Drive, by Dan Pink,were tremendously influential in creating the FORTE concept.I see a connection between their ideas of the value of Purpose (Sinek) and the valueof Intrinsic Motivation (Pink). If you align your work with your WHY, HOWs, andWHATs you will be happy, successful and fulfilled – it is meaningful work. Meaningful Work aligns with intrinsic motivators: Why? Believes in the Purpose/Meaning of the work How? Autonomy to apply their personal values & traits What? Has the skills & experience to Master the job
  11. 11. How to get the most outta this1. Do the How, Why, What sections in that order. This could save you a lot of time, because understanding your How’s can be the quickest way to finding your Why. It’s ok to skip some exercises, in fact I recommend you skip some if you already have the answers for yourself, but don’t skip ahead to the next section until you are satisfied with your Conclusions, which you’ll reach at the end of each of the three discovery sections (How, Why, What).2. Start a workbook to track all your answers to each of the exercises. This could be paper based or digital, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure all your insights are in one place so you can easily look back and review. Ultimately, Finding your Forte is about synthesizing the information you discover about yourself.3. Review your Conclusions with a friend or hire a life coach to help. Why? Because most of us have a really tough time seeing ourselves. We lie to ourselves. We don’t ask ourselves the really tough questions. We don’t see the underlying patterns. We confuse who we feel pressure to be with who we really are. So find a friend who wants to do this too. Both of you commit to doing the exercises and then review your Conclusions with each other. Your role as a coach should simply be to keep digging deeper (just ask Why), help identify the patterns, and call BS when you see it.
  12. 12. Define your HOWs Section TwoHOWs are the actions you are taking, and environmentyou are in, when you are at your best. In this section you’lldiscover your natural tendencies and values, as well asyour ideal working environment and role on a team..
  13. 13. Define your HOW’sThe best way to define your HOWs is to do some exercises thatwill determine your: TRAITS: your natural dispositions and tendencies to act. VALUES: the things you put importance on when making decisions. ENVIRONMENT: your ideal place, role, team, culture, etc.We’ll start off by investigating your TRAITS through the use oftwo personality tests. This is an easy way to get started with a lotof self-awareness data all at once.
  14. 14. TRAITS: Two Psychometric AssessmentsPersonality Tests are technically called Psychometric Assessments. Youmight have taken one before, as they are commonly used by guidancecounsellors and in job screening processes.After taking dozens of these tests myself I would recommend two tokickoff your HOWs discovery process:Myers-Briggs: this is one of the grand-daddies of Psychometric tests.It’s based on the theories of Carl Jung, and was originally created inthe 1960’s. The test is designed to measure people’s preferences andhow they see the world. Because it is largely accurate and so widelyused and referenced, this can be very valuable in both understandingand explaining your HOW’s.Pro.file Performance System (PPS): this is a behavioural employmentassessment created by Concord Consulting that we use in ourrecruitment process to better understand “person to job” fit. Theoutput report also provides valuable insights into your HOW’s,including a visual representation of your tendencies.
  15. 15. Example: Edwin’s Myers Briggs The output of the Myers-Briggs is a four letter code.Strong preference of Extraversion over Introversion (78%)Distinctive preference of Intuition over Sensing (75%)Moderate preference of Feeling over Thinking (50%)Slight preference of Perceiving over Judging (11%)
  16. 16. Example: Edwin’s PPS
  17. 17. Take the Myers-Briggs TestGo here to take a free Myers-Briggs test: sure to write down what your percentage score was in each of the four areas.For example:  Strong preference of Extraversion over Introversion (78%)  Distinctive preference of Intuition over Sensing (75%)  Moderate preference of Feeling over Thinking (50%)  Slight preference of Perceiving over Judging (11%)There are a number of great reports and descriptions on this site, but once you knowyour four letter code (e.g. ENFP for me), then you can find many other descriptionsand insights.Here are some other sites to check out once you know your type:   (also has another free version of the test)  Google your four letter code + Personality Type and see what you find…
  18. 18. Take the Pro.File Performance System (PPS)Go here to take the survey: that you are applying for a position, although you won’t beWithin 24 hours of completing the test, you will receive a copy ofthe results via email, and I will get cc’ed.The visual on the first page needs some explanation, so insteadof trying to figure it out, use the visual on the final page, whichhas more thorough explanations of the continuum of answers.If you have any questions, or don’t receive the results, email
  19. 19. Exercise: Myers Briggs & PPS Learnings (TRAITS)1. Review all the outputs from your assessments and take notes on the statements that are particularly true for you.2. Go through your notes and capture the patterns and themes that emerge. What keeps coming up? Which words are often used? What is most consistent?3. Answer these questions:  How would you describe the situations where you are at your best?  How do you like to work?  What kinds of people do you love to work with?  What is your ideal role on a team?  What is your communication style?  How do you make decisions?  What are your strengths?  What are not ideal situations for you? (weaknesses, blindspots, etc)
  20. 20. Exercise: Career Review1. List all the jobs, roles or major projects that you have done.2. In detail describe the roles or projects that you enjoyed the most.• What were you doing? What was so great?• What are the best teams you were a part of? What were they like?• What did the environment have to do with your enjoyment?• Describe the specific activities where you were in “flow” (the challenge and skill required were equally high), and time flew by.• Any times when you refused to quit, even you easily could or should have?3. Describe the roles or projects where you had to exert a lot of extra effort toget the job done (or you were just plain miserable).• Consider the opposite of each of the questions above and describe in detail what it was about those jobs that wasn’t a fit for YOU specifically.• What would you have needed to add/change to make it work well for you?4. Review: What did all the best and worst situations have in common? Make alist of the positive and negative reoccurring attributes.
  21. 21. Exercise: School ReviewThink of the final few years of the highest education that youcompleted and answer these questions: What did you really love learning about? Why? How did you change during this time? Who did you really enjoy spending time with? What was it about them that you liked? When did you feel like you belonged, and when didn’t you? What were the most memorable or enjoyable experiences? What action words / verbs best describe you then? What did you do during this time that you are proud of? What beliefs did you develop during this time? What themes or patterns emerge when you look at your answers?
  22. 22. Exercise: ENVIRONMENTA factor of your HOWs is what type of environment you love to workin. Write down the essential things that REALLY make a difference toyour happiness (or unhappiness) at work.Here are some areas to consider:• People: Work alone, small team, large team, varied• Size: Entrepreneur, small, medium or large org• Speed: Slow paced, medium, fast• Processes: Rule bound, flexible, or high rate of change/unstable• Structure: Degree of structure to the role: significant, modest, loose• Visual Surroundings (office, dress code): formal, casual, creative, etc.• Manager Style: Supervisor, Trainer, Coach, Delegator, Hands-off, etc.• Location: office close, work from home, on the road, frequent travel• Role on a Team: Take this free test to mine for more insights:
  23. 23. VALUESVALUES are the factors that people place the most importance onin the choices they make. Because they are rooted in experience,and not theory, VALUES are best determined in a review of actions,answering the question – what did your choices tell you aboutwhat you value? Health Flavour Discipline New Experiences Body Image Pleasure
  24. 24. Exercise: Look at My Life (VALUES)Imagine you are 90 years old, sitting on a rocking chair on your porch.You are pleased with the wonderful life you have led. Looking back at all thatyou’ve achieved, all the relationships you’ve developed, all the things you’vedone…1. What matters to you most? What made life worthwhile? What were the highlights? List out at least 15 things before you move on.2. What are VALUES associated with each thing you listed? (e.g. family, accomplishment, relationships, love, success, meaning)3. Which of these VALUES are unique to you? Which ones wouldn’t be on most lists?4. How would you rank these VALUES by importance?
  25. 25. Exercise: Two Values AssessmentsThere are two tests you can access online which will help you toclarify your values. For each, it is critical that you answer basedon how you act, not on how you wish you’d act.1. Pavlina’s Test: a head-to-head comparison of a large list of values originally compiled by the author Steve Pavlina. Make sure you don’t select more than 10-15 values before it asks you to compare them to each other or you’ll be at it all day. The Rokeach Value Survey (RVS): a classification system of 36 values developed by social psychologist Milton Rokeach in the 1970’s. Follow the instructions and remember to think about your actions and decisions made in the past.
  26. 26. Conclusions: HOWs1. Review the outputs from all your exercises in the HOWs section (Traits, Values, Environment) and capture any patterns or themes that emerge. e.g. Theme 1 = Organizing activities, Theme 2 = accomplish something difficult with others2. Go through the list of patterns and themes and combine the items which are similar into groups of HOW statements. e.g. Organize people and tasks to accomplish something difficult as a team3. For each HOW statement pick out the key action word(s) which really resonate with you. e.g. Teamwork, Challenge4. Get the list down to 5-7 statements by combining similar ones together, or eliminating any which you could still be happy without.5. Get creative and brainstorm a tagline for each HOW statement that makes it memorable and emotionally resonating for you. e.g. Orchestrate Mission Impossible (Teamwork, Challenge)
  27. 27. Discover your WHY Section ThreeThis is the most elusive and difficult of the three Discoverysections. Here you’ll discover what your life’s drivingmotivation is. Some people call it your Purpose. Or yourCalling. Or your reason for being. Or just… WHY.
  28. 28. Exercise: Mine your HOWsYou shouldn’t begin the WHY section until you have your 5-7 HOW statementsand action words (so if you don’t have them yet, stop here and go back).1. Carefully read each of your HOWs, thinking about all the context andbackground of each of them.  If you had to pick just one of the HOWs that you absolutely couldn’t live without, which would it be? Do you get emotional imagining life without it?  Which of the HOWs relate to challenges you have had to face in your own life?  Is there one HOW statement that is more of a driving force (an end), rather than an instrument (means), throughout many of your best experiences?2. The big difference between your HOWs and your WHY is that the HOWs areconditions (actions, environment) for you to be at your best, and your WHY isthe driving force (cause, beliefs, desired end result) behind the actions. If someof these questions are making you think that one of your HOWs is actually partof your WHY, then good news – that’s the shortcut we’re looking for! Write thisdown, but don’t let the idea color your work in the next exercises. Keep anopen mind for more discoveries.
  29. 29. Exercise: SERVICEService: the personal needs of others that you are often attracted toserve.What are 3 ways your friends would say that you help them? What doyou give or add to their lives?What are the things that you are often recommending to peopleproactively? Why?Imagine it’s your funeral and each person closest to you is asked to tella story of how you helped them. What stories are they telling? What isa reoccurring service you are providing?Think about the 3 people you admire most in the world. What is themain way that each of them helps others?Summary: Look at all your notes and list the most common 2-5 needsthat you help others with and how you serve those needs.
  30. 30. Exercise: SERVICE in Maslow’s HierarchyWhat stage(s) of Maslow’s hierarchy do your 2-5 top needs best correspondwith? This is the area that your WHY exists in.
  31. 31. Exercise: CAUSESCauses: a large issue to be solved, or opportunity to be capitalized on, that requires anorganized, multi-person effort.What are occasions where you became especially OUTRAGED or INSPIRED about anissue or opportunity. For each, what was the larger CAUSE it was connected to?AND/ORIf you could grant any three wishes to solve any issue, maximize any opportunity, orright any wrong, what would you use them for? What CAUSE do they connect to?In your life so far, what are your greatest accomplishments?  What difference did this make? What is the higher level CAUSEit connects to?What do you need to have accomplished to have lived a life without regrets?  What larger CAUSE do these things connect to?You have $1M to spend on charity/cause OR 1 year to volunteer. Where do you spend itand why? What larger CAUSE is this in service of?Summary: Read through your notes. What are the 1-2 most important CAUSES to you?
  32. 32. Exercise: CAUSE selectionImagine you are Royalty and you have to select 1-3 areas to invest a large amount ofyour personal time and energy. Which of these areas would you dedicate your life toimproving? Why? Agriculture & Farming Healthcare Animal Welfare Hospitality Arts & Entertainment Human Rights & Social Justice Children & Youth Knowledge & Information Climate Change Law, Policy & Property Rights Community Development Media Cultural Heritage Organizational Development Democracy & Voting Peace, War & Security Developing World Poverty Eradication Economic Development Quality of Life Education & Training Relationships & Connection Energy and/or Natural Resources Religion Environmental Sustainability Special Interests (handicapped, men, women, seniors, etc) Entreprenurialism Sports & Fitness Food & Nourishment Technology, Productivity & Innovation Globalization Travel & Transportation Government, Politics & Int. Affairs Work & Employment
  33. 33. Exercise: Leisure TimeWhat leisure time activities: Do you spend the most time doing? Could you not live without doing? Bring you the deepest satisfaction? Really make you feel alive? Do you use to decompress or relax? Are ‘productive’ things that you actually enjoy doing?Summary: Review your notes and keep asking “Why is thatimportant?” and “What difference does that make?”
  34. 34. Exercise: VISIONVISION: your imagined view of an idealized future. It is how youthink the world around you should be.Your task is to richly describe your VISION by finishing one of thetwo sentences below. Be sure to describe:  The change you most want to see  The benefits of this change and why people should care  The role you want to play in the change “I imagine a world where…” or “I want to turn 60 and celebrate…” (what do you really want to have done and what difference did that make)
  35. 35. Exercise: BELIEFSBeliefs: the convictions that we hold to be true, although we dont have much (or any)actual proof.Look at your notes from the exercises for CAUSES, SERVICE & VALUES (from the HOWssection). What BELIEFS can you deduce from them?What are the mottos or principles that you always say? Favorite quotes? What do youshare on social media? What BELIEFS are related to them?What would people say makes you unique in the way you view the world? Whatunique BELIEFS create these views?What ideas have changed your life? What BELIEFS were behind these ideas?Think of the tough times you’ve been through. What BELIEFS did you draw strengthfrom?What are your greatest fears and what BELIEFS help you to deal with them?Summary: List out as many of your core BELIEFS as possible in snappy, memorablelanguage. e.g. for a BELIEF in Karma: What goes around, comes around.
  36. 36. Conclusions: WHYYour WHY statement will fit into this structure: My purpose in life is to [actions I do,for who or what] so that [the value or difference created].1. Focus just on the first part of the WHY statement and review the outputs from all your exercises in the WHY section. Make notes on reoccurring themes and patterns and capture the area of your Why.2. Identify a list of key action words and verbs that emotionally resonate with you. (e.g. Edwin’s = coach, challenge, inspire)3. Identify and describe your core customer, audience, or group. (e.g. Edwin’s = the ambitious, yet unfulfilled)4. Start writing possible statements that complete that first line: “My purpose in life is to…” and don’t stop trying until you hit on a line that you feel strong about emotionally. It could take as much as an hour, or as little as 20 minutes. Don’t stop writing until it hits you.5. Review your VISION exercise to answer the “so that” part of the sentence. Answer what larger difference working on your WHY connects to, and what makes that so important.6. Celebrate! 99% of people never figure out what their calling is, and you just did. And now you know what to do.
  37. 37. Capture your WHATs Section FourYour perfect job utilizes your strengths. It is work that youcan be world class at doing. In this section you will describeyour true talents, learned skills and acquired knowledge.
  38. 38. Exercise: TALENTSTalents: the things (actions, activities, aptitudes) that you are naturally good at doing.1. List all of your TALENTS:• List 5-10 things you are frequently praised for or complimented on by others.• List 5-10 things that you do well or come easy to you.• List 5 examples where you exceeded expectations, and then which talent most created that success.2. Rank your Top 5 TALENTS:Eliminate the similar or redundant talents and then list them across the top of a page.Then score each from 1-3 (low-med-high) according to the questions below. Questions Example Does it come easily to you? 2 Do you get great results? 3 Are you often praised for it? 2 Are you still improving at it? 1 Do you look forward to using it? 2 TOTAL SCORES 10
  39. 39. Exercise: SKILLSSkills: The jobs you have had are less important than the skills you developed throughyour experiences & projects.1. Experience SkillsBrainstorm projects or experiences you’ve had, and then list the specific skills youdeveloped during that time.Project/Experience:_______________Skills:__________________________________Project/Experience:_______________Skills:__________________________________Project/Experience:_______________Skills:__________________________________Project/Experience:_______________Skills:__________________________________Project/Experience:_______________Skills:__________________________________Go here for a more detailed description of this exercise, with example: Technical SkillsNow list any specific technical or work-output related skills (e.g. graphic design,coding, video) that you have learned or acquired.
  40. 40. Exercise: KnowledgeKnowledge: the information you have retained and can put to gooduse, typically because you are interested in the subject.Describe your knowledge and interests: What do you know more about than just about anyone you know? What topics fascinate you? What are you especially curious about? What subjects do you gravitate to? What can you discuss endlessly? What are the sites or magazines that you can’t stop reading? If you could get to know five famous people, who would they be and what you want to know from them? What do you love to imagine or think about? In what areas do you find you have great creative ideas? What do you remember the most about from school? In what areas have you learned a lot from in your work?Summary: List the subject areas where you have significant knowledgeand a genuine curiosity to continue your learning in.
  41. 41. Conclusions: WHATs1. Review the outputs from all your exercises in the WHATs section (Talents, Skills, Knowledge) and create two lists:  Fields & Subject Areas Edwin’s Example:  Skills & Talents AREAS SKILLS/TALENTS Marketing People Mgmt.2. Narrow down the list to 10 or less Communications Leadership  Which do you love to do the most? Career Coaching Strategy Dev. Org. Dev. Content Mktg.  Which are most marketable? Social Media Influencing  Which are you best at? Entrepreneurship Presenting  Which do you have the most exp in? Sales Team Building  Which can you not live without? Business Dev. Brainstorming Sustainability Inspiring
  42. 42. Use your Forte to find (or create) your DREAM JOB Section Five
  43. 43. Exercise: Make PROPOSALSProposals: Instead of waiting for a job to be available at a great organization,PROPOSALS look to create work by showing what your Forte can do.1. Brainstorm and research online at least 20 companies, organizations, new bizventures, partnerships, etc that do work which aligns with your WHY.2. Narrow your list to your top 3 choices – places you would LOVE to work.3. Research the heck out of the 3 choices, looking for their issues & opportunities,using any source you can think of (press releases, blogs, twitter, inside sources, etc:4. Then for each of the 3:• Research their key people online and through social media• Step into THEIR shoes and list all the issues, pains, needs or opportunities you see• Brainstorm multiple ways you could help with each one, using your FORTE5. Pick your 2-3 best proposal ideas and get a second opinion on whether they meetall the points on the checklist on the following page.6. Get creative for how you make initial contact and deliver your proposal. Considersending a teaser of value first, before you deliver the proposal.7. Be persistent, not annoying. Remember to always add value when interacting, like:• Promote what they are doing to your network• Introduce them to people who could help them• Send them articles/videos/books you think they would like
  44. 44. PROPOSALS ChecklistBefore you send it, make sure your Proposal… Is all about THEM (not you) Shows off your FORTE Is truly VALUABLE (think of it from their shoes) Is easy to say YES to (the less they need to do or invest, the better) Is a PLEASURE for you to do (even if you don’t get any work after) Connects to a way to make MONEY (should lead to work that pays)
  45. 45. Buy this eBook and Rewrite your Resume an eBook from Simon Sinek
  46. 46. Other things to assist your ADVENTURE Section Six
  47. 47. Exercise: Living Your FORTEDaily Life Friends & Family What tasks or activities should  Who should you spend more time you do more or less of? with because they help you live your What habits should you break or Why? create?  Who should you spend less time What are your ‘resolutions’ about with? Or what limits should you put how to live your Why? in place? How does your Why connect to  Who would you like to develop your work goals and Leap? How relationships with? can you view these goals from the  What can you do to help people POV of aligning with your around you in the area of your Why? Purpose?
  48. 48. Exercise: RESONATING ARTResonating Art: any type of art which aligns and therefore resonates with our Forte.Resonating art creates inspiration or another powerful emotion, and surroundingourselves with it can help us stay aligned with our Forte.What are your favorite movies, music, TV shows, books, plays, paintings, etcWhich ones gave you an emotional reaction? How does this relate to your FORTE?Which ones do you remember vividly, or still think about? How are you better for it?Which ones have characters or subject matter that you deeply identify with?What visuals or symbols inspire or remind you of your FORTE?Action: do your best to continually experience your RESONATING ART, whether it’slistening to the songs, having the pictures around, or reading the book often.
  49. 49. Books that helpSeth Godin: Poke the Box, The Dip & We are all WeirdSimon Sinek: Start with Why & Stand Out (eBook)Daniel Pink: A Whole New Mind and DriveRandy Pausch: The Last LectureJulien Smith: The Flinch (free eBook)Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow RichMihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow
  50. 50. Videos that’ll inspireSir Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigm (video)Dan Pink, Drive RSA talkSimon Sinek, Start with Why TEDx talkCharlie Hoehn, Recession Proof Grad TEDxRandy Pausch: The Last Lecture video
  51. 51. Real ExamplesMustache-guy wants a job at GoogleHis journey to a dream jobCharlie Hoehn becomes ‘the Recession-Proof Graduate’SlideshareMelissa Alvares (a friend of mine) proposal to G AdventuresJob Proposal Video
  52. 52. Where to Catch MeI’d love to hear from anyonewho is using this guide to findtheir Forte… Ideally you would catch me Kiteboarding, although it’s kinda hard to talk then…