In my experience, leaders are often skeptical of this approach. They challenge this idea with examples of Goldman Sachs or drug cartel leaders, asking if they truly have a “Why” other than money. Of course, in both examples, it is about the money, as it is their way of keeping score (who has more money or control). But it could also be about the love of the deal or the thrill of the risk. More than likely, power is their “Why”.
It never ceases to amaze me how often senior leaders forget or lose sight of their “Why”. As a result, they tend to live life in a reactionary mode – responding to the needs of the business and worrying about personnel problems, money, and countless things that are out of their control. If this continues, the business will eventually ruin them, as will their stress, disconnection, and lack of direction. They lose the joy and source of energy that once motivated and inspired them.
If you have ever worked for one of these organizations, you know what it is like to be on a journey without a destination. You may have financial and annual goals, but if you lack a clear understanding of the organization’s purpose, you are probably part of the majority that simply shows up and collects a paycheck.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY.
When a senior leader knows what they are building, where they are going, and why they are doing it, everyone wins. They have now created the foundation to build something great, even though the road map has yet to be created. Once the senior leadership team buys into this concept, their responsibility is to champion and coordinate the vision throughout the organization. An important component of this is to provide clarity about individual accountabilities and how their duties contribute to the overall “Why” of the organization.
This is a prime example of “rowing in the same direction”. When companies achieve this, unbelievable things can happen. Think of Apple, Tesla, and Facebook; they strive to create quality foundations and amazing work environments.
Once teams make this transition, anything is possible.
Helping senior leaders rediscover why they started their business is one of my specialties. It is common for leaders to feel overwhelmed by the day-to-day events and forget why they started the business in the first place. Perhaps it was a long-lost dream that their parents considered to be childish. Or maybe it was hidden because the business pivoted to something that seemed like a good idea at the time. There are numerous reasons how we lose our “Why”. And I believe there are no acceptable reasons to not go back and find it.
Remember, as the leader of your organization, assisting your team with clearly understanding why they show up every day is your primary obligation. Your “Why” must be simple, direct, and important to you and your team.
If you asked me what my “Why” is, I would tell you this: to introduce one million people to a new way of thinking.
Are you a leader who is struggling to find balance in life? Are you interested in rediscovering your “Why”? Reach out today to find out how we can help!