Yes, ikigai (pronounced icky-guy) and it means “a reason for being,” a Japanese philosophy I just became aware of that I want to share and would like to have you add its concepts to your LinkedIn profile.

It consists of 4 intersecting circles, each one comprising 3 subconcepts and the intersection of all segments define your ikigai, your raison d’etre, your reason for being.

Each day this week I will explore a new circle with you and by Friday we will wrap up with the finale, in essence, why you do what you do, your ikigai. Yesterday I spoke of What You Love.

Today: What the World Needs
This one is an easy one for me to write about as I am just finishing my book, the intent of which is to bring nonprofit professionals’ profiles to a higher standard to tell why them and their mission.

What the world needs is more sensitivity to whatever you as a nonprofit pro or contributor or board member or volunteer thinks is important. There’s a whole lot of intervening needs and competitive organizations seeking donor dollars, time, attention and energy.

What the world needs is more conversation and mutual respectful understanding, not the polarization of right and wrong, shades of gray in seeing both sides of topics that are controversial. IMHO.

Part of my mission is to help nonprofit professionals do a better job of expressing their “why,” more like their for-profit counterparts do on LinkedIn. Hence the book (not a to be perceived as a cheesy ad, but a demonstration that I take this mission seriously enough to commit time and resources to it.)

I couple to this mission my vocation as a LinkedIn trainer, coach, and author to write on this topic as no one has yet done so. Yes it’s true, no one has written a book on LinkedIn for nonprofit professionals. I did. I used 16 years of experience speaking to and learning from nonprofits and showing them how to improve themselves, to which I added my LinkedIn viewpoint.

Mission accomplished. Vocation added to mission. The by-product is a new book, due out in late May.

The intersection of mission and vocation, according to the chart above is

  • “excitement” (plenty of that to see the book become a reality). I can’t tell you how exciting it is to hold your book, fresh from the publisher!
  • “complacency” to which I disagree, as my passion and my mission are intertwined to whatever fulfillment I will accomplish providing something the nonprofit world certainly needs. I also offered the professional practice world my earlier book with the same  intent. I would suggest changing the word “complacency” to “optimism” or “visualization.” I have experienced those.
  • “uncertainty” is I suppose one thing that we have no control over as vulnerability and changes in our world impact us all at different levels. The uncertainty arising for the economic aftermath of 9/11 pointed me towards nonprofits as prospective clients. It was a good move for me but one I did not foresee until the dust settled. Some good things come out of uncertainty.

What’s your “What the World Needs”? We have lots of opportunity to think about that  in today’s uncertain world.

Tomorrow: the next circle: What You Are Good At