“Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it. This is the power of WHY. Our visions are the world we imagine, the tangible results of what the world would look like if we spent every day in pursuit of our WHY. Leaders who start with WHY inspire action.” Simon Sinek
We’ve consistently heard about high employee turnover for the last several months. In addition, we’ve been hearing a common struggle to determine motivation, purpose, and drive.
While exploring possible reasons for these themes, we revisited “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”. This book was a great reminder of how important it is for leaders to focus on WHY.
People who love their work are more engaged, fulfilled, and inspired. Therefore, understanding the WHY and your company’s values is critical as a leader. Aligning the company’s WHY and values to your teams’ WHY and values is vital to retaining talent.
Sinek speaks to inspiration as:
- Giving people a sense of purpose or belonging.
- Creating a following of people who are inspired to act for the good of the whole.
Sinek also shares the benefits to organizations of such inspiration:
- They have the most loyal employees.
- They tend to be more profitable.
- They are innovative.
- Change is sustainable over the long term.
- Employees are happier, treating colleagues, clients, and customers better.
- Employees find it easier to weather ‘hard times’ and are less prone to giving up after a few failures.
People are drawn to leaders that are good at communicating what they believe. Leaders that embody WHY and aligned values make us feel like we belong and are special, allowing us to thrive in our environment.
This is true for decision-making as well. Decisions are made by our limbic brain and are based on how we feel. Therefore, we connect to our leaders and feel a more profound sense of loyalty and commitment based on how our leaders show up, behave and ultimately make us feel.
Sinek outlines a process of WHY which he calls The Golden Circle:
- Clarity of WHY
- You must know why you do what you do. If a leader in an organization can’t clearly articulate WHY the organization does what it does beyond its product or services, how can they expect an employee to know WHY they should come to work?
- Discipline of HOW
- Once you know WHY, you must understand HOW.
- HOW do your principles and values guide your vision?
- Using commitment ensures everyone in your company is accountable to those guiding principles.
- Consistency of WHAT
- Everything you say and do has to prove what you believe.
- WHATs are the results of those actions – everything you say or do.
- We must be consistent in what we say and do.
Creating a culture of WHY means recruiting team members that align with the company’s WHY and values. Start at the interview stage and begin with WHY. Companies are more successful when they collectively share the same purpose and passion. Leverage ‘stay’ interviews with current team members to understand their motivation and drive. To create momentum, find a way to connect and align the WHY and values of all team members.
At Lead Vantage, our why is the Betterment of Everyone. We believe in setting the intention to show up as our best selves every day. When we do, we become better spouses, parents, siblings, and friends. Having a positive impact on our relationships makes the world a better place.
Can you imagine having a team that understands its WHY and has alignment in values? Can you imagine the impact on your culture, clients, and business?