Do You Know Your Own “Why”

As a leader of others, do you know your own “Why”? Are you committed to this core belief? Are you able to communicate this belief clearly and consistently? Leaders are not leaders unless they have followers and people will not follow us unless they embrace the fundamental “Why” of our actions

In his book, Start With Why, Sinek describes this dynamic as the Golden Circle and maintains this is not just opinion but actually well grounded in the study of how our brains work. While on stage, he draws out 3 concentric circles on a flip chart. The “Why” is the center powered by our Limbic (emotional) brain. The next circle illustrates the “How” – the mechanics of how things get done. Finally, the outer circle is the easiest to describe – that’s the “What” we produce – the products or services.

As a business owner and leader of several community initiatives, I can easily relate to what Sinek is suggesting. When I seek to inspire and engage others to follow me in a cause or project, I am very mindful of what they are listening for – what is the “Why”? What is my purpose? What drives my commitment to them?

Sinek reminds all of us as leaders that people buy from us or work for us not for what we provide or for how we do it. People only commit to us when they believe and embrace the “Why” of our intentions and actions.  They are inspired and that is the power whether we are the leader or the follower.

I challenge you (and me too) to step back this week and think about the “Why” of what we do. We may be surprised with our insights and how they may change the future of our work.

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