What is my PURPOSE or CAUSE? … ‘WHY?’ is a motivating proposition! – By David Moore
Ask not ‘what?’ but ‘why?’ Your purpose lies in the ‘why?’ not the ‘what?’ Thus, ‘why?’ is the purpose … the purpose? Everyone knows what they do and many know how they do it. However, in order to inspire action in everyone in the community (organization), it comes from defining ‘why?’ you do ‘what’ you do. It is the core premise that underlies religions and great momentum shifting movements in their day … because there is a cause, a purpose, a shared belief. Basic human nature creates most folks the same in the sense that they all want to be a part of something larger than themselves … it is ‘why?’ we go to Church, a Synagogue, a Mosque, a Temple, etc. It is ‘why?’ we have a tighter circle of friends that we bond with more closely. Profitability (if that is an end result) is simply an end result because companies ultimately attract believers. However, the most successful leaders profit from their inspired beliefs and the financial benefits follow later. Even Steve Jobs sketched the iPad 30 years before it was created while out on one of his routine, daily, barefoot walks. He knew at that time that is wasn’t in his technical grasp at the moment, however, one day it would be and it would transform the world in some way.
At Smoothie King (smoothieking.com), we re-invented a 40+ year old company in about 1 year by defining the purposes around the company and then marketing those purposes to folks who believed in the same thing we believed in. I didn’t invent the ‘why?,’ as a marketer, I simply resurrected, re-tooled and told the story of ‘why?’ and made believers stronger believers and attracted new believers. Same store sales jumped dramatically in a short period of time and the franchisees prospered.
This video by Simon Sinek is short, yet profound … and is a must watch for any leader of any size organization. (ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en). It is absolutely one of my favorite videos on Ted and my management philosophy and has been for many years. Leaders who are meant to lead will understand this intuitively or instinctively. One area where I wish this video could have gone a little bit further was to touch on and explain … ‘take the time to explain to every employee on every task ‘why?’ this project or task is important to the company.’ Yes, it takes a little extra time at the onset, yet will save you a ton of time on the back-end. When employees know ‘why?’ they are doing something vs. just being told what to do, they feel a sense of ownership and a sense of pride in the result. And, increasingly, you will be amazed at the results because they now feel a part of something larger than themselves.
About the 4th word my children ever knew was ‘why?’ First was ‘mama,’ then ‘dada,’ then ‘no,’ then ‘why?’ We all have a natural, innate curiosity about us that sustains through life. ‘Why?’ starts from birth and it is not only natural, it is motivating!
David Moore is a GLO member has motivated businesses from multi-national Fortune 500 brands to revitalization brands to start-up companies via strategic thought leadership and communications strategies combined with brand building execution.