Who, What, Where, Why, and When! Those five words, in that order! That’s how we recite them, that’s how we remember the 5 W’s! Whoever came up with that order clearly did it so they were easier to rhyme off but little did they know the damage they would cause to our businesses and industries. I know this might all sound trivial but hear me out, it will all become clear!
These five words, in that order, have made us believe that this is the paradigm we need to stick to. Who likes upsetting the routine after all? But, we must retrain ourselves. The most important of these 5 words is the why. Because it’s near the end of the pecking order, we consider it subconsciously to be one of the least important when we are dealing with people, customers and businesses, but in actuality, WHY is the engine room. This is where everything comes to being and where ideas and innovation are created! So why are most people defining themselves by what they do rather than why they do it? What is their driving force? What fuels the fire and passion that makes them do what they do?
Simon Sinek is a great advocate of the WHY. In his course "The Golden Circle", he states; “When our "Why" is clear, when we are disciplined in how we pursue it, and when what we do is consistent, the outside world understands our "Why" as clearly as we do. And when that happens, more and more people are inspired to follow. And that is when you know you are a leader.” I would recommend watching Simon’s TED talk on the Golden Circle, as it will add even more context to this blog.
So, what am I trying to say here? Or should I say why am I trying to get this message across? My motives are simple. We need to cultivate better relationships in business. As the markets grow, the world gets smaller. Gone are the days of a firm handshake and a contract renewal. We need to be more journey focused with our clients and prospects. When we look for the why, we can invest in that journey. We have a better understanding of what makes businesses thrive and grow and in turn, we can learn from each other.
Let’s not focus anymore, solely on the how or the what, but let’s challenge ourselves to search for the why in every deal, every interaction and every communication. This is where we will see true growth, not only in our businesses but in our overall lives. We become more connected, more open to new possibilities and more invested in others. With the new age of millennials coming in to the business scene, they are already looking for the why. If we don’t, our businesses will age along with all of our customers and clients. If we don’t think like our potential clients and focus on their true needs and how we can add value to them, then we are instantly losing an uphill battle.
People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Simon Sinek
There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. William Barclay