The Who, Why and How of Getting Your What

Do you have a belief that says you’re not good at numbers or you’re not management material? Perhaps you think you’re only good at sales or you’re not any good at sales. Perhaps you think you’re boss has it in for you and you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. Do you believe someone is holding you back and if they’d just catch up life would be better? I’m not asking you to change who you are, I’m asking are you sure any of these beliefs are even true? Are you making an assessment or an assumption? Do you know these are true? Have you proven them for yourself, or did you struggle in an area/situation and decide something wasn’t right and give up or move on to other endeavors? Do you see your choices as being limited?

As a coach, I work with my clients to first learn WHO they are…their values, beliefs, needs, strengths, talents, desires rather than beginning the focus on WHAT they want and HOW they will get results. Why?  It’s really simple, the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ are often what their partner wants for them or their boss has demanded or what society has told them they must do or want. That’s why so many New Year’s resolutions don’t work; people choose things without tying them to their values, things they don’t have a passion for or a desire for. In addition, once a person is clear about their Who, the What and the How show up on their own.  Going directly for the result, the goal, the solution leaves very important information out of the mix. For example: What fuels the driver? What motivates a person to want to do something? If I have a desire to be an independent and successful business woman then I must ask myself what do I feel so strongly about at my very core that following that path will make my success easy and meaningful? My success will be based on that meaning; it’s not about the money or the recognition, those are results.

In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why discovered these leaders all think, act and communicate in the exact same way and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. They all start with ‘why’. An organization can explain what it does and how it does it, but can they articulate why they do it? Why is not money or profit, again those are results. Have you heard the phrase; “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”? Sinek maintains people don’t care how and what you do until they know why you do it. Tap into the heart, the emotion and the core of the subject – what moves you to do something or not do something? Why is it important to you in the biggest sense of the word?

So I could say I became a coach because I want to make a difference in the world and that is true, but the real driver is that I believe everyone has a right to soar, to identify and develop their talents, strengths and skills to be the best of the best. People have a right to know who he or she is (not just the roles they play) and how they can best contribute to the whole of this world. I love being the catalyst for the realization of that spark, that purpose, that meaning.

I believe every executive is the guiding light for his or her company. How bright or how dim that light shines, whether its warm or glaring makes a difference in the life and the profitability of the company. These are skills that can be learned and I love seeing this take place.

I believe every business deserves to be successful and that the business needs to serve its owner, not the owner being a slave to the business. But often the business owner doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and having a guide can bring the who of the business and the owner to life.

What’s your ‘why’?  The why is always tied to the who. The Who is the driver, the doer, the Why is the belief, the passion and the How is the action taken to realize the belief with the What being the result of those actions.

Three great examples of building a company and/or a product to serve the middle class are Volkswagen, Wal-Mart and Southwest Airlines. All three of these companies chose to fully champion and serve the middle class – their Why. Apple on the other hand based its success on “think differently”. Creating a product that was outside the box and perfect; as perfect on the inside as on the outside and for this you are expected to pay a premium. All these are great products and services but with different Why’s and appeal to very different people.

Studies show that 80% of us who have jobs, don’t really consider it to be our dream job. I would venture to say most people don’t know what their dream job is. And further I’d venture to say most people don’t really know who they are; they don’t know what they don’t know. Before you begin a venture or project, go after a new career or a new relationship, take some time to really investigate your ‘why’. What is so important to you, at your core that if you built your life around it, would bring meaning and joy to you and those around you?

Adapted from the book, Start With Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, by Simon Sinek published 2009 by Penguin Group

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~ by transformativethoughts on January 12, 2012.

One Response to “The Who, Why and How of Getting Your What”

  1. There are so many people out there that really do not have a clue as to what is important to them, who they are, or what they really want. It’s such a shame. Those who are this was should most definitely seek out a coach and work hard to get the best out of life and themselves.

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