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Getting To "Why" At Work And In Life

It's up to us to find meaning in our life's work.

A number of us at The Trust Company of Illinois have been reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek.  The author is a self proclaimed “man on a mission,” determined to get leaders focus on the “why” of what they do instead of the “what.” 

In Simon’s view too many firms define themselves solely by their “what,” whether product or service.    

Great leaders bring an infectious passion to everything they do which permeates their organization.  Sinek describes Apple’s Steve Jobs and Southwest Airlines Herb Kelleher as inspirational innovators.  There is a reason, Sinek says, why Apple has minimal market share yet everybody wants a Mac or an Ipad.  

Start With Why  is a quick, engaging read which leaves you naturally thinking of your own “why.”  

When formulating my “why” I can’t help but have it apply to both my personal and professional lives.  Perhaps settling firmly into middle age, and sadly losing friends along the way, has me pensive.  

As a Catholic I don’t pretend to know God’s plan for me or anyone else but believe that I am called to be a husband, father and friend and to serve others.

As a young adult I envisioned a career in journalism or going to law school.  I ended up in financial services inspired by an early mentor, Gerry Evascu.  I remember over two decades ago, when I asked how I could possibly repay him, he said, “By doing the same thing for someone else someday.”  The energy and passion I bring to life (and my life’s work) hopefully inspires those around me.  

All of which has me thinking of my own professional “why.”  

We have, we do, and we will live in uncertain times.  Each day is an opportunity to learn and offer guidance.  

I love my career because no two days are the same; I am always dealing with new people, situations and challenges.  Anxiety over the "crisis du jour" often stymies investors, whether it's Congress, Greece, the dollar or the Middle East.  In client interactions I am often reminded of a passage from The Station by Robert J. Hastings:

The journey is the joy.  The station is an illusion - it constantly outdistances us.  

As to my “why”:

I serve others, helping them define and realize their dreams.   

Are you able to define your “why?”   I would enjoy hearing from you and can be reached at 630-545-3653 or wlg@trustcoil.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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