Before you read the rest of this blog post, I invite you to watch the video above. Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” TED talk. It’s 18 minutes that I can promise are worth your time.
There are many obvious reasons that I love this video. It’s inspiring. It’s heartfelt. It challenges me to think about my personal why.
To say we live in a fast-paced world is anunderstatement. Social media has evolved (and is still evolving) so quickly that I think many of us feel like we don’t have the time to answer the question what’s my personal why? We’re to busy staring at our smart phones and responding to e-mails at all hours of the day that I think a lot of people don’t see the value of answering why. I can hear your inside voice screaming now, “Wait, what did she say? She wants us to actually answer this question? Does she actually want us to talk? About how we’re feeling? With each other?”
The short answer is: Yes.
When I encounter a new client or group of people, I literally picture each person with a huge bag on their back. It’s all of the hidden, for lack of a better term, stuff they’re bringing to the table. Maybe their infant was screaming all night. Maybe they had to work on a project late into the morning. Maybe they had a challenging morning with their 7-year old about what to wear. (I may have thrown that last one in from experience.) This imaginary bag is also filled with very personal and sometimes private pieces of their lives that they might never share. Some maybe work related. Some not. For me, this video has a number of good messages. One of them is to serve as a reminder about slowing down. Talking to each other. Trying to understand someone else’s point of view.
I challenge you to take a couple hours and figure out what your personal why is. Why do you get up in the morning and go to work? Why is the work you do important? Ask your colleagues. You might find it refreshing to hear their reasons. Talk about it with each other. I think you’ll find that if you know what is internally driving someone every morning to come to work you might be more patient with them. You might understand why they take something (even if filling out that form in such a specific way seems so silly to you) so seriously. You might approach how you do your job a bit differently. Because for so many people, at the end of they day, they just want someone to listen to them. They want to be heard. I strongly believe that having these conversations with each other internally will build greater relationships with the groups your are serving externally.
Remember – “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”
What did you think of the video? Are you ready to share your personal why?