The Next Jump blog is a look into the culture of a company that believes corporations can change the world.
Next Jump University: It Starts With Why
Peter
23 Nov

You’ve got mail from the CEO:

A combination of your timing in being responsive + some of you being the top recurring winners of TOP 10 employees…you’ve been selected to partake in a very special training session in Simon Sinek’s WHY University where professional coaches will work you with in an afternoon to help you identify your PERSONAL WHY.

For whatever reason if you cannot make this, please let me know asap.

Regards, Charlie

Reaction:

Email from CEO! Woo!

Holy cow I am 1 of 12 people being offered this opportunity (half is senior mgmt!)? Cripes! Humility. Pride.

Umm how cool is this… but seriously are we going to have a workshop to try to answer one of life’s biggest questions for us as individuals?? This can’t be happening. But it is…

Sent rambling email to CEO thanking him for opportunity, explaining that I was thrilled, scared and amazed and like a kid on Christmas all at the same time. Mainly a lot of rambling though :)

Prepping/Homework:

Using a Sunday night and a bunch of paper I sat down at the dinner table to “prep” for our class. I had to reflect on past highs and lows in both my professional and personal life. After some time I came to realize that the items I had initially jotted down as the highest points in my life, while amazing and accomplishments were just milestones achievements and not truly points at which I was happy, engaged and inspired. With this learning I iterated my lists and at this point something amazing started to happen. The items that were bubbling to the top of my lists, weren’t really about me at all. In fact they were all about helping and sharing with other people!

Wow how cool is this? The course hadn’t really started officially yet and here was a big clue towards identifying my “Why”.

The Course:

We were paired with another Next Jumper for the actual class. We broke up into groups and shared our stories/prep work. I ended up being paired with some guy named Anil (tease) who was friggin awesome. We talked for a few hours between both of us sharing our own stories and then we worked together to capture into words the commonalities which were driving our stories (our Why’s). It was a bit like piecing a puzzle together. I kept in mind the notion of me wearing a t-shirt with my “why” on it which helped me to focus down to single words. Eventually it clicked that my Why was about “empowering” others.

Following Class v1:

I put together my own first cut at my statement. I was so proud. It included my new word “empower” and the notion of creating a sustainable culture of empowerment. It summed up things nicely covering work, home and outside. The words themselves weren’t important the concepts were. As I put the below together things started align in a strange way. I was about empowering my family, my work was about empowering its employees, the charities we work with were about empowering others.

Our V1

V2:

a few weeks later I had a follow-up with Kim Harrison from Why University (who is simply amazing and one of the few people whom I truly feel blessed to have met in life) and further iterated my why with her help and clarity that sharing was at the core of my why. So in next jump fashion I iterated my why document…

Our V1

Living your Why:

I find that having the clarity of purpose I have is very settling. The experience has been profound for me. I have found myself replacing the time I had previously spent on trying to figure out my why with ways for me to actually live my why.

Finding your why is scary though. It is a ton of responsibility! Work isn’t supposed to be like this. Work isn’t suppose to ask these hard questions (let alone try and even answer them). Work isn’t suppose to truly care about what YOU want. What kind of company does this stuff? Next Jump does.

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