I’ve been so busy the last few months that the question came up…
Why do I do all that I do?
I have this ambition of doing more and being more, for myself and for others. But why? The why is the motive. Understanding the motive behind one’s action should always be the starting point.
I’ve spent some time looking at the why and realized what I have thought: most successful people, movements and businesses focus on the why. The why is the background catalyst for a mission statement, the setting of goals and all that one hopes to achieve. Inspirational leaders get this and I want to get it too. Author Simon Simek presented it best in his 2009 book “Start With Why.” He shares this truth by pointing it out in the following examples…
The Wright Brothers wanted to see a man fly. They thought it was possible and it didn’t matter how they did it. At the end of the day, they were not out to invent the plane but to make the though of aerial transportation a reality.
Martin Luther King had a dream that all men would be treated equally. He built a social movement before social media was ever a thought. In a time before cell phones, Facebook or twitter, he gathered people for an icon march in Washington simply because there was a compelling why to his dream.
Apple envisioned through the leadership of Steve Jobs easy-to-use computers and other electronic devices that would make life easier. At the end of the day, they didn’t create the MP3 player but the an iconic product like the IPod; they didn’t create the tablet but the IPad. As a business, Apple has been more successful because their mission has resonated with the need for easy-to-use products.
I have recently applied this approach when preparing for a sales training; focusing on the why of our business, the why of our strategies and the why for each of the employees I was coaching. It has been interesting to see them understand and feel the soul of our business in a way that makes them productive. Furthermore, in getting to know each employee, I’ve been able to connect the why of our business to the why of their hard work, their dreams and ambitions.
Why do I do all that I do every day? To learn new skills and develop my understand of the business world. To provide for my family. To be a better husband and a better father. To be a good friend. To motivate and inspire other to reach their full potential.
Why do YOU do what you do?