Do You Know Why Your Work Matters?

Why-It-Matters-CoverA few weeks ago, GovLoop hosted a Career Energizer event. The program featured an awesome husband-wife duo:

  • Larry Chloupek is an award-winning mentor at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He’s also the first person to complete the Boston Marathon on crutches (and break a world record in the process!).
  • Jennifer Chloupek is an Executive Coach at the National Cancer Institute and co-author of the book, Why It Matters: The Sherpa Guide to What You Are Looking For.”

Based on Jenn’s book, the pair led participants through a process of exploring the “Why” that drives them – not just in their careers, but in every decision they make. As you can see from the slides below, the book is framed by the four points on a compass. Each point presents the following questions for reflection:

  • North = Exposure: What are the people, places, things and values that shape how you see the world?
  • South = Evidence: How do your strengths and weaknesses influence your choices? What words do you use and what stories do you tell other people that indicate what’s important to you?
  • West = Excitement: What drives you? What fulfills you? What is it in your life that demonstrates your passion and commitment?
  • East = Essence: What gives you peace? What are the convictions that reside deep within your heart and mind – in your gut or inner core – that represent the true ‘you’?

Larry shared that, by exploring his life through this exercise, he discovered that his “Why It Matters” is to prove a point. With that self awareness, he is now achieving more than ever before (and he was already a high achiever to start!). Jenn walked participants through a process of uncovering their “Why It Matters” so that they, ultimately, can be more successful and self aware, leading to better results and relationships in their life.

So how about you? What’s your “Why It Matters”? Share your thoughts via the comments below.

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Andrew Krzmarzick

My “Why It Matters” is something akin to “Connecting People”…to other people information, resources, etc. At my core, I love being a Connector (a la Gladwell’s “Tipping Point”).