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Answering Why - Award-Winning Bestseller
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Answering Why: Unleashing Passion, Purpose, and Performance in Younger Generations is based on Mark’s work with educational organizations and businesses across North America, alongside his personal experience as the father of two Millennials. As a strategic consultant, he delivers many keynote speeches each year and coaches his clients on recruiting, retaining, and motivating the younger generations to greater performance in their educational programs and careers. In this award-winning bestseller, you can experience the power of these strategies for the challenges and opportunities presented by today’s younger generations. Find out more below!

Answering Why has been recognized in multiple award competitions:
2019 Independent Press Award Winner: Education
2019 Independent Press Award Winner: Career
2019 National Indie Excellence Awards Book Award Winner: Business Motivational
2019 National Indie Excellence Awards Book Award Winner: Parenting & Family
2019 National Indie Excellence Awards Book Award Finalist: Career
2019 Silver IPPY Award Winner: Parenting
2018 Silver Nautilus Award Winner: Relationships & Communication



What is Answering Why about?

The Why Generation is a term Mark coined to encompass both Generations Y (the Millennials) and Z (currently the youngest generation). These generations, together more than 100 million strong, are approaching their education, careers, and everything else in their lives with a strong desire to understand the purpose behind what they do. “Because I said so” is not enough of a reason anymore, and we are feeling this shift in the classroom dynamic, in our workplace interactions, and in every conversation we have with today’s young people. The Why Generation is asking a genuine question. And this book was written to help us answer it. From the urgent skills gap crisis to the proven strategies to motivate and inspire our young people, this book will address the burning questions faced by educators, employers, and parents across the country.

In Answering Why, Mark C. Perna shares his wide experience and profound success as both a single dad and performance consultant for schools and business across the country. Mark’s mission is to empower individuals, educators, employers, and parents to embrace the branch-creak crisis moments of life and make a meaningful connection with the young people they influence. This best-selling book will help unlock the incredible potential of young people everywhere and spur them to increased performance on all fronts, so they can make a bigger difference—which is exactly what they want.

Who should read Answering Why?

More than 100 million Americans are part of the Y and Z Generations, and there are another 220 million Americans who interact with them daily as their employers, educators, and parents. Unlike many generational gurus, Mark actually believes in the incredible potential of our younger generations. All we have to do is unlock it. That’s why the insights and strategies of Answering Why: Unleashing Passion, Purpose, and Performance in Younger Generations will make the difference.

Are you an education professional?If so, you interact with Generations Y and Z daily—and you know the struggle to understand what makes today’s young people tick. Packed with perspectives from your colleagues around the country, Answering Why will help you implement strategies to inspire your students to perform at a higher level. Everyone in the world of education can benefit from these tools, including administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, and support staff in:

  • middle schools
  • high schools
  • career and technical centers
  • postsecondary training facilities
  • technical and community colleges
  • universities

Are you an employer? Employers in all industries are facing serious labor shortages as the skills gap in America continues to expand. You need to recruit and retain the talented, skilled workers who will help your businesses compete on the global stage. That’s why this book is for you: filled with real-world examples and interviews, it offers invaluable insights on how business and industry groups can make the most of their relationships with Generations Y and Z, driving recruitment and retention success stories.

Are you a parent? You are not alone; there are over 100 million younger-generation sons and daughters in our country today and their parents face struggles similar to what you may be facing. Mark experienced them himself as a single dad and his book will reveal what worked in his family. It’s a universal desire to help our kids become self-reliant and independent in this ever-changing world that has become considerably more competitive.

Whatever your connection with the younger generations, this book will help you look at yourself and the younger generations from numerous vantage points. You will:

  • Gain the skills to unleash their vast strengths
  • Understand their sometimes-frustrating differences
  • Appreciate the astonishing nuances that make them unique, special, and important in this new economy

What questions does Answering Why answer?

If you’ve ever asked any of the following questions, Answering Why is for you!

  1. What can we do to reach today’s young people and motivate them to higher performance in all areas of life?
  2. Why are the younger generations the way they are?
  3. How do generational differences affect the workplace?
  4. Are the younger generations really so unmotivated and entitled as they’re stereotyped to be?
  5. Why is parenting today different from previous times, and how can I do it successfully?
  6. Why are the crisis moments of life the catalyst for change?
  7. How is the educational paradigm changing in America?
  8. How can we improve employee retention and performance?
  9. How can we close the skills gap?

What’s the story behind Answering Why?

Mark says, “I was inspired to write Answering Why because so many people around the country are asking that very question: why? Why are we struggling more than ever before to connect with those in generations older or younger than our own? Why are our education and workforce development systems broken? Why is the skills gap expanding in our country, with no easy solution in sight?

As a longtime consultant in the related fields of education and workforce development, I believe there is no more urgent moment than now to start solving these challenges facing our nation. There are millions of unfilled jobs in America because employers can’t find workers with the right skills to fill them—and yet there are millions of people un- or underemployed. This skills gap will soon reach crisis proportions as the industries that drive our economy forward falter for lack of skilled people. And we can change this when we start answering the essential question of why.

But even more than that, I wrote this book because I see the urgency for educators, employers, and parents to reach the younger generations. I’ve felt this urgency myself as a father to two amazing young men. I believe we can empower today’s younger generations to make a bigger difference than ever before. And if the strategies and stories of the work I do can help generations of young people reach their full potential, then together we’ve changed the world for the better.”

Why this book? Why now?

The message of Answering Why has never been more critical and timely. Generational divides are nothing new, but what is new is the alarming rate at which our country’s skills gap and college debt burden are expanding. While there are many factors at play in this crisis, many experts believe that the radical differences between today’s younger and older generations are among the most significant causes. Business and industry’s desperation for skilled workers has its roots in our educational system and even in our parenting, due to the societal forces that have shaped today’s young people and their view of themselves, their opportunities, and the world.

We face a national epidemic of rising college costs, fewer degreed job openings, and employer frustration with the younger generations in the workplace. The career-ready emphasis of recent legislation underscores the seriousness of the education and skills gap problem in the United States. Answering Why addresses these challenges and more through the author’s comprehensive knowledge and proven strategies, pioneered over the course of a career devoted to education and workforce development.

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