Have you been thinking about your Why?

thinker   photo by Brian Hillegas

It’s cool when you get to learn new things!

I sent out a challenge the other day for one of the Peer Group Advisory Boards that I run.  I’m looking for the members of the group to go a bit deeper and get into an issue that they’re struggling with (for the group to discuss).

As part of that challenge my friend Terry from Powercore offered up a variation…a deep thoughts way of looking at things.  It was answering three questions based on the work of Simon Sinek – the author of Start With Why.

If you’re not familiar with Simon’s work, the basic premise is that people aren’t inspired by what you do, or even how you do it (even if it’s different).  People are inspired by Why you do something!  As an example he talks about the inspiration of Harley Davidson to their biggest fans – they’re not inspired by the hardware, but by the concept of building the ‘freedom to ride’.

Relative to our exercise – here are the 3 questions that Terry recommended:

What’s your what? – What do you sell. (That’s what most of your competitors focus on in their/your go-to-market competitiveness.

What’s your how? Is there an element to your approach that differentiates you?

And most important and most challenging, what’s your why? Very few companies get to this level of understanding about themselves. Why do you do what you do?  As John Strelecky would put it:  What’s your purpose for existence?  Either as a person or as a company?

Obviously these aren’t easy things to ponder…but I guarantee that they’re worthwhile.  I think it’s especially compelling that Simon Sinek no longer tells people what he does, he only tells them his why:

Imagine if we were more confident about the things we sell.
Imagine if we were more confident about the things we buy.
Imagine if most people loved going to work everyday.
Imagine if everything we did was in pursuit of something
greater than ourselves.

Everything we do is to inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, we change the world.

This is the world we imagine and this is WHY we do what we do.

The whole point is to find those people who resonate with what you’re all about…those are your best customers.

Here’s a recent video from TED where Simon Sinek talks about his golden circle and these ideas:

If you can’t see the video above, you can find it here.

What’s your why?  Have you given any thought to it?  I’d love to hear your comments – share them in the comments space below.

Shawn Kinkade   Kansas City Business Coach