Immature leaders declare, “Don’t ask me why, just do what I say!” Many of us have failed as leaders, not only in the workplace, but at home because we don’t take the time to share the “why” behind the “what.” If there’s anything I’ve learned (the hard way) is that the why helps a staff member understand the importance of a task or duty. If they don’t know why, it has no meaning.
Phenomenal leaders continually explain why. This is one of the most important lessons you can get from this chapter. If your folks don’t know why they are doing what they do—if they don’t know the purpose, it doesn’t have meaning.
Your purpose is the why behind what you do. A few years ago I was sitting in the sun by the pool working on my goals as I often do. I was putting down some BIG dreams! As I looked at those big dreams, two questions came to me, Why do I want all of that? Why do I want to do all of this? And the answer came shortly after. I realized that I had a mission and calling to fulfill. The things I had on the list were either things to help me accomplish the mission, or they were rewards for accomplishing the mission.
Zig Ziglar said, “It’s not what you get when you reach your goals, it’s what you become.” Zig has a goal-setting process that starts with dreams, then you turn them into goals and ask that all-important question, “Why?” after every goal. He goes on in the process to help you make sure that your
goals are “fair to everyone involved.” And can I tell you that if your goals don’t make a difference in the lives of others, you’ll have a bunch of stuff and be empty.
That may be a reason why you don’t even try to reach your goals—you see a bunch of empty people with a lot of stuff. Sad.
But I’m here to tell you that if you have a purpose that you are passionate about, and you help enough other people get what they want, you’ll get what you want! Why should we do anything without a good reason? Why should we do anything that isn’t going to add value to others?
So be clear on your purpose. Be clear about your why. Make your WHY really big and really meaningful so that your folks can’t wait to get to “work” so they can reach their goals by helping the company reach its vision, accomplish the mission, and live out the purpose. It’s a thing of beauty when it works.