Are your business sales where they need to be? Are your profits? Are your coworkers engaged in their work? Are you satisfied with the amount of positive reviews your company is getting? Does it seem like business everyday is one big hassle? Are you finding meaning and fulfillment in your work and company?If you’re not satisfied with the answer to these questions, a starting place is to examine WHY you do what you do. WHY are you in business?
Simon Sinek gave a TED Talk in 2009 titled How Great Leaders Inspire Action. Simon lasers in on the importance of connecting to and with our WHY. You’ve probably either seen it or heard of it. It’s the third most popular TED talk in history.
I’ve written a fair amount about the power of WHY. On an intellectual level I understand how it works. That made it easy to share. Because I had never engaged my own WHY however, I hadn’t been able to make the connection with my own gut.
My WHY has always been inside of me. The problem is it’s been buried under a few boulders. I’ve written for nearly twenty years to help business owners and managers think about what they’re doing and to try and help them become more effective. For the last decade and a half I’d become increasingly discontent. Business owners and managers were not implementing the advice and help they were given by industry experts.
My mistake is that I began lumping all owners and managers together. I overlooked the ones who were out there really applying sound practices and principles, busting their guts trying and, often times, succeeding. I soured on the entire industry.
A series of events caused the boulders to roll off of my WHY. I’ll not bore you with the details but I will tell you what loosened the largest hunk of stone: The Service Nation Alliance. And more specifically the Advisory Boards that I participate in. I slowly began to see the owners and managers who ARE busting their guts trying and implementing advice. I’ve witnessed considerable success first hand. And I began to notice fellow members assuming leadership roles while trying to help their brother and sister members. I thought, there is a world to engage my WHY in.
I developed an altogether new source of motivation and energy that drives my behavior. It’s clear, distinct and different. I simply cannot tell you how good it feels.
If you’re like most people who have watched Simon’s video. You know it’s good idea, but for whatever reason, you didn’t get in touch with your WHY. There is a chance that once you do engage your WHY, you’ll see that owning a contracting business is not the most worthwhile use of your blood, sweat and tears. That’s okay. Perhaps there is a person out there whose life and business would thrive with your passion and energy.
There’s also a chance that your company will soar to new heights once you identify and start living your WHY. It isn’t a cure-all-pill and it won’t be easy. But once your WHY is established and you have coworkers on board who believe in it, you’ll begin to notice that they aren’t working for paychecks, they are working for a common cause and belief. This is the base and foundation you need to build sales, profits, raving customers etc.
This slideshare is an excellent visual breakdown of Simon’s message. For me, one of the most interesting aspects of it is the analogy between the three different parts of the brain to the WHAT, HOW and WHY of Simon’s Golden Circle.
"The WHY does not come from looking ahead at what you want to achieve and figuring out an appropriate strategy to get there. It is not born out of any market research. It does not come from extensive interviews with customers or even employees. It comes from looking in the completely opposite direction from where you are now. Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention" - Simon Sinek
Stay tuned next week for an additional resource involving your Why.