Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team by Simon Sinek, David Mead and Peter Docker. Portfolio. 256 pages. 2017
This practical handbook is a way to take the information from Simon Sinek’s best-selling book Start with Why, and personalize it so that individuals and teams can discover their “why”. David Mead and Peter Docker bring scale to Sinek’s vision. Their work is the “how” to Sinek’s “why”. When you discover your “why” you will better be able to determine what makes you fulfilled so that you can inspire others.
Chapter 1 is a condensed review of the book Start with Why. Read my review of the book here. If you haven’t read the book, I would recommend that you watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” which has had in excess of 35 million views.
Your “why” is your calling or purpose, or belief that drives you. Finding your “why” is about origin stories. The authors ask us to trust the process, for both individuals and teams, and then walk us through 7 steps for individuals, including finding a partner. The book provides a lot of tips for partners, such as the logistics for the meeting. More tips for partners can be found in Appendix 2.
Once a partner is identified there is preparation for the meeting (story gathering). You are to focus on the contributions you have made and the impacts those contributions have made on others. From this, you identify themes. Some of those themes will become your “hows”. From these themes you will draft your “why statement”.
Separate chapters address discovering the “why” for groups, or tribes, as the authors describe them. Some teams have their own, or “nested why”, which complements the organization’s overall “why”.
Whereas the individual works with a partner in a meeting to discover their “why”, teams work with a facilitator in a workshop to discover their “why”. We are told to remember that we are discovering, not creating a “why” in the workshop. There are detailed tips for facilitators included, from preparing for the workshop to running the workshop. Curiosity is a key attribute for a workshop facilitator. The goal of the workshop is to draft a “why statement” that is 75-80% completed. This will be accomplished through three conversations to go over contributions (conversations one and two) and impacts (conversation three).
Chapter 6 addresses your “hows”, which are your strengths. Again, these are current strengths, not aspirational. They must be simple and actionable. Your “hows” will bring your “why” to life.
Chapter 7 tells you how to share your “why”. The authors suggestion that you start by sharing your “why” with strangers when they ask you what you do for a living.
Appendix 1 includes commonly asked questions from Find Your Why workshops.
This very practical book would be best for those who have read Start With Why and/or watched Sinek’s related TED Talk who want to go deeper on the concepts covered.