Do you know WHY?

Posted on: March 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I just finished reading Simon Sincek’s “Start With Why”. He challenges you to put into words exactly WHY you do what you do before you consider HOW and WHAT to do. Now this is one of those books that I bought several years ago on the recommendation of a colleague.  It’s been sitting on my reading table since that time.  Occasionally I would pick it up and thumb through a few pages and then I would get distracted by something – like a piece of chocolate or a good mystery on television (obviously I’m easily distracted and some of my priorities need to be adjusted).

However, last night was different. I had spent the day working with several different clients, coaching them to consider why a particular person would communicate the way they do and encouraging them to provide the why’s behind the directions they were giving their direct reports. In each case my explanation to them was: people need to understand the reasons behind your words and directions before they can accept them.

And then my workday was over. I plopped, literally, on the sofa and there was Sincek’s big, bold title staring at me: START WITH WHY, How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Subliminal messaging that had been there all along you say? Or, perhaps, the Universe telling me I was on the right track and needed more information. Whatever the case, I read the book in its entirety and, as I normally do when a book grabs me this way, I underlined, highlighted, turned down pages (ouch, I understand some of you would never do that), and added notes in the margins. And now, here I sit, at my desk, asking myself WHY I do what I do.

When you look through my website you’ll be deluged with HOW and WHAT I do. Did I convey to you WHY I do it? Unless you know me personally I doubt if you get my WHY.  So, for your edification, and my learning process, here’s WHY I do what I do.

I believe in people. All people. I find them fascinating, frustrating, exhilarating, engaging, complex, and comical. I love to sit back and observe them interact. I love to provoke them into action. And I am thrilled when I see a light bulb go on in their eyes as they discover, for themselves, that they can do something they thought five minutes ago was impossible. I believe that all people can learn, develop, and excel. I revel in their achievements.

I facilitate groups because I am always amazed at the power of group interaction. How a disparate group of individuals becomes energized and works together to achieve a goal it couldn’t even articulate at the beginning.

I consult with organizations that know, really know, that their people are the heart of their business and who put their time, energy and money behind the development of those people.

I educate and coach individuals because I know that with specific direction and encouragement each person can reach a goal.

And, finally I run this business because I enjoy it.

These are my WHY’s.  What are your’s?