Define your Purpose–the WHY within August 17th, 2012

Vinod Kumar

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.

Couple of weeks back I had the opportunity to present at the Bangalore .NET DevCon UG and the topic was around Leadership. And after the session, the fundamental take away was understanding the purpose – why one does things and with what conviction. Let me take some examples to give you a pulse of what the core concept of PURPOSE is.

Do you work for a Paycheck?

In professional life it is important to love what you do and most importantly have that inner drive to do it with that passion like never before every single day. I wrote about this concept in my earlier post – “What does it take to be Successful?” and I cant reemphasize the same. Just track any successful person, they make conscious choices about where they work and what they do, because they know why they do it. But how do you get clear about your purpose – how do you know what your real reason is for showing up? The answer is well within – ask “WHY do you show up to work?”.

Why is more important than What.

Most of the inspired leaders always make their mission / purpose your own and then win your confidence to work. I have sat in so many sessions of various companies and I always see the most inspiring sessions are those that are emotionally stitched with social cause and driven with purpose. In this state, it is not important what you think but what you feel matters.

A typical leader that comes to mind now is M.K.Gandhi, think the way he rallied people and how he connected emotionally to bring them together. I hope you get the drift !!!

Passion isn’t logic – its emotion.

Interview lessons

I think there are enough interview lessons that I have done over this blog for you to search. Now let us take a simple question as we start any interview – “Tell me about yourself?”. This is the most fundamental question you will encounter and let us see two approaches.

PS: the descriptions are imaginary and any resemblance to your answers in real interviews are mere coincidence :)

Typical Reponses: I have 10+ years of experience in the industry and computer domain. My expertise are in installing, configuring, performance tuning SQL Server and doing various upgrades. I have detailed experience in managing and maintaining SQL Server in production. I have performed the roles of various Administration of IT, technical support and Network.

or reimagine

Ideal Response: I have an appetite for solving problems and finding solutions that makes lives of others easier. That is why in the previous jobs, I have always been the first go-to person for solving problems as I help them automate and give unique choices to get things done efficiently. Since Technology has been something close to my heart, I have a natural passion to learn, explore and try the various technologies that come my way. In my previous roles of IT Administration, Technical Support and Network Administration, I have been able to realize how I can channelize this passion and help people. BTW, I have close to 10+ years of experience in SQL Server and infrastructure management.

If you were in the hot seat of interviewer, the second response is purpose driven response appealing and connects with me instantly. Hence I would say, answer your WHY more than anything else.

Purpose is what gives life a meaning – Charles H. Perkhurst

My Book – SQL Server Interview Questions and Answers

Now, let me give you purpose “why” I did write that book? There is always purpose for bringing a book out. The myth that this book will allow you to pass an interview is not true. It surely guides you and mentally prepared on what to expect if I get into an Interview situation.

Now assume, you have an interview to attend tomorrow or in the next couple of days. Where do you think you will start your exploration? If you are a SQL Server Relational engine person and wants a guiderail of information of what to expect. That has been the core principle around which the book was written. Hope this clarifies some of the doubts some had over my book.

Get it here if it interests you: Flipkart, Kindle, Amazon 

The purpose for the book was always clear, just that we never stated it explicitly :).

Wrap up

As I wrap up, want to link up to Simon Sinek (Author of: Start With Why) and I got lot of inspiration from the concept that he writes over the book. There is a purpose to why we do things and there is nothing to deny :).

Thanks again for reading this far, do feel free to drop me a line if the story makes sense.

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18 Responses to “Define your Purpose–the WHY within”

  1. Ramdas says:

    Hi Vinod,
    The article content is fantastic. The way you rephrased the answer for the question Tell me about yourself is a gem. The ideal response has multiple layers of positive attitude embedded in it. Putting things in perspective in todays of world constant change you article is very timely.

    Thank you

  2. selvakumar says:

    hi Vinod

    i love the quote “Passion isn’t logic – its emotion.”. superb article!! thanks alot.


  3. Hi Vinod,

    This is very true and very inspiring!!
    Thanks for sharing such great articles!!

    Best Regards,

  4. Anup Warrier says:

    Excellent post Vinod,It made me think !

  5. Jyothsna says:

    Good one,Thank you.It is very inspiring blog

  6. Prathyusha says:

    Hi Vinod,
    As always great article.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Nice one ! thanks a lot!

  8. Nilesh says:

    Thanks for this wonderful and inspirational post!

    Passion isn’t logic-but its’ emotion.

  9. Really awesome. It will help me a lot. Thanks you very much !!!

  10. Pinal Dave says:

    You made me do soul searching – this has to be the most inspiring blog post in recent time. Thank you so much.

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