Start with Why

Start with Why

Not only a great book but a great TED talk. If you have not watched Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” – it is important to take 18 minutes to do that. It is fundamental to motivation for yourself and others. He talked specifically about business and business messages, however, it is core to humans and our brains. When we understand WHY and not just the WHAT and the HOW it changes our clarity, buy-in and motivation to join your quest, cause or mission.

This concept not only applies to important topics such as organizational mission and message but day to day tasks and directives. Consider talking to a 3-year-old. “Put on your shoes” vs “Put on your shoes we are going to the park.” What is different? The second included the WHY. Now, be warned if someone doesn’t agree with the WHY, they will still push back, but the WHY is the compelling and motivational ingredient that communicates to the heart and mind.  You can use this to motivate yourself, your team, your peers, your family…. Ask:

  • “Why are you doing this?”
  • “Why is this important?”
  • “If this doesn’t happen, what would be the problem?” (which still gets to a why) Why’s don’t always have to be about saving the world and solving major crisis’s in 3rd world countries, they can be about our everyday tasks that are important to do like:
  • Why get out of bed in the AM? That’s why successful people make to-do lists the night before, have goals and focuses for their day. They know WHY they are getting up and WHAT they are going to be doing.
  • Why volunteer?  Why do “xyz” tasks? There is a reason behind many things we do. The things we do that don’t have reasons often contribute to feeling like the day was on a treadmill, meaningless and purposeless.

Consider what you are doing and WHY. Be clear on your WHY not only personally and in your tasks but in your bigger picture and efforts. As leaders, communicating the WHY and creating space for people to discover and insert their WHY and how that connects to the organizational WHY is critical. ·

the WHY changes the game.