“Why? Because I said so!”
Whether or not you have used this reasoning before, you cannot get through life without hearing it. It is often the answer of a frustrated parent, who is just too tired or too time-crunched to explain, or sometimes, they just may not have a good why! Leaders sometimes communicate this phrase without actually saying it, by not giving a why at all. Without the why, there is little to inspire or motivate your colleagues to do the hard work set before them.
Have you ever:
Been in a meeting, without knowing why you are discussing an issue?
Been handed a decision to implement without knowing why?
Seen an initiative fail without knowing why?
Many times, for expediency or because the why is not known, we are given directives to start planning initiatives or implement programs without knowing the why behind it.
Start with Why
In Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, he contends that we are pretty good at saying what we are doing and how we are doing it, but not always good at explaining the why of what we do. He suggests that making the why clear can improve leadership, culture, hiring, product development, sales, marketing, etc.
The why inspires and motivates the people to do the work. In education, the why should be about what is best for kids. If we start with the why, decisions would be simpler, trust would increase and motivation and innovation would abound.
How do you keep the why at the forefront of your leadership? How do you incorporate the why into your leadership meetings? Initiatives? Planning?