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A Chance For Clarity

This period of time, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, is a time of confusion, chaos, and conflicts. We get conflicting reports on what to do next, risk factors, to wear a mask or not—the list goes on and on. We have it in our individual lives, and it is also true in our companies and organizations. As we begin to head into a new normal of relating and doing life, as we reopen for a new day in business, it seems to me to be a significant time for us to do some clarifying thinking and sharing.

Whether you are reopening or beginning to ramp up to full speed again, this is a perfect time to remind yourself, your company, department, or team the why behind your business. Why ARE you in business? Why THIS business? Why do you do the things you do the way you do them?

Simon Sinek says that any organization can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very, very few can clearly articulate why. For true success and team satisfaction, the WHY must be clear and understood all the way across the organization. That’s where the motivation and momentum come from.

Your WHY is not money or profit. Money and profits are always results. They are the outcomes of the WHY.

There are many look-alike companies, churches, business, but some are greatly successful, some are mediocre, and some completely fail. Why do customers really buy from one company or another? Why are people loyal to some leaders and not to others? Why does one brand create devoted customers and another does not?

Those who start with their WHY never manipulate. They inspire. Therefore, people follow them, not because they have to, but because they want to.

Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? Check it out, and you will discover it’s always the powerful WHY.

People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common except their amazing impact and influence on people—and the fact that they all started with WHY. They realized that people will not truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.

Simon Sinek’s great book, Start with Why, shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way—and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea “The Golden Circle,” and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And, as Sinek teaches repeatedly, it all starts with WHY.

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts you could give yourself and your team and your mutual future in the coming days is to spend deliberate time and energy clarifying and communicating your WHY. This clarity is a powerful way to reignite your own fire and the spirit of your company, department, and team.

I highly recommend Sinek’s book, Start with Why, to get your engines running.

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