Why Are We Here?

Last month I talked a lot about taking stock of your professional goals and accomplishments in the new year and included my own spin on this process with SMPS New York. We’ve accomplished a lot as a chapter but there’s still so much left we have to fulfill – primarily learning more about what our members want (and don’t want), how to continue moving forward while keeping up with the changing pace of our community, and being a critical resource for marketers in the AEC industry.

As a follow up to this introspection, I decided to solicit feedback from the members I interact with most – our own Board of Directors. In order to do this objectively, I invited Brent Robertson from future design firm FATHOM to attend our January board meeting and serve as our “provocateur,” a role he has served several times for our chapter. What stuck out to me the most was the way Brent began the session, by asking everyone “Why Are You Here?” Some of the answers we heard were:

  • The sense of community /part of a contribution to something larger
  • New challenges and idea
  • New skills I didn’t have previously
  • Giving back and sharing knowledge
  • Safe space and honest conversations
  • A “Just Ask” mentality
  • Support that we give each other
  • Credibility
  • Community and friendships
  • Simply willing to try “stuff”

I love how a simple question such as “Why Are You Here” could lead to such meaningful and purposeful answers. At a time where our chapter is going through transitions and “growing pains,” if you will, this one question helped to almost instantly give everybody in the room a renewed sense of purpose and excitement for their contributions to our organization.

I think this exercise could be easily applied to many professional situations. The next time you’re feeling bogged down at work, facing yet another proposal deadline, I encourage you to ask yourself “Why Am I Here?” It could give you a renewed sense of purpose, or ultimately let you know it’s time to make some changes. Either way, sometimes you just need to ask why in order to move forward.

In the coming months, I’d really like to know why you, our members, are still here. We’ll be holding some key meetings to ask these questions and more. But in the meantime, send me an email and let me know your “why”.