Start with the Why! Thanks to Sinek we are all entrenched with the Why. And for good reason.
If you start with your Why it will lead to understanding the reasons behind your actions. Things will start to flow naturally. The Why is your most fertile ground. It is the place from which you are geared for success.
But what is your Why? Populist views take it to purpose, passion, mission and everything or what you want to be remembered for. This makes sense, but that’s only one half of the Why.
Your Why has two dimensions: Purpose & Strength
- Purpose – This is the sum of what we believe in, what we are passionate about and what we want to be part of. Why do you want this? It drives the higher values in your organization.
- Strength – This is the sum of what we are great at, where do we make most impact, our experience, assets and power. Why are you great at this? This drives your impact.
Purpose and strength make the two axes for your Why and it brings you to four possible starting positions:
- The Plodder – “No Passion, No strength”. These companies operate in areas in which they are not exceptionally great, plus there is no real higher purpose. People don’t follow and there is no impact. In this position you are dead in the water – you won’t go anywhere fast.
- The Pusher – “We are great at this, possible exceptionally great. But we have no real purpose”. Without passion you’ll need to Push. Here we tend to find the more classic hierarchies, fear and control structures. Targets and results dominate the agenda.
- The Preacher- “We have a great higher purpose. But no real strength to act on it”. This makes wonderful speeches and inspiring stories, but without real expertise to make this happen frustration looms. A higher purpose is inspiring but without impact it looses credibility.
- Pioneer – “purpose meets strength”. We are great at what we do and we are truly passionate about it. It’s the passion that helps us get out of bed in the morning. And it’s our expertise, experience and skills that make us succeed.
The Why in the Pioneers position makes you attractive and geared up for a “pull” organization. It is attractive for all your (future) stakeholders. You are inspiring and credible. You also offer employees the chance to be part of a company that is exceptionally great at something combined with a higher purpose that makes you proud. Your customers will believe and can support you. The question is how do you get to the starting position of the pioneer?
In the Why phase we are interested in where you made, make and can make your truest impact. We look for this in three places – Your history, your fans and your most passionate employees.
Your history tells you a story. This is your DNA. The fact that you exist today, means that you were a Pioneer at some point in history. What was the reason for this?
Your fans experience and enjoy your impact today. By sitting down with a few of your fans you can reverse engineer what the difference is you make in their worlds. It’s about extracting what it is you do that makes a positive impact and what that means for you.
Your passionate employees – they are already full of purpose – tell us what it is!
Once you’ve found out what you are great at and what you really believe in, you have articulated your Why.
Here’s an example of a project.
Deloitte has a huge division specialized in Cyber Security. They help protect your systems and repair them if they are hacked.
The strength of Deloitte is to make sure that a company does not trip over things that can derail you. “A partner who has your back”. Be it tax, theft or operations that are giving you problems, they can sort it out. The same goes for Cyber Security. Deloitte has the most effective and experienced group of “white hat hackers” to keep your systems safe.
We learned that the common passion at Deloitte Cyber Security, which drives these experts, is the beauty and the potential of the internet. This open field offers society endless possibilities, which Silicon Valley attests too. But it only takes a few (criminal) hackers to ruin that. Implant viruses, hack systems, steal information and damage companies. If this threat becomes too large there will be a point that governments need to intervene and control the internet. These white hat hackers will be damned if that happens.
The Pioneer role of Deloitte Cyber is that they have the real strength to keep companies from tripping over cyber threats and are driven by a passion to keep the internet free, save and open for everyone.
If you are a white hat hacker where would you want to work? If you are a client, who would you trust…?