He’s not the only one encouraging a shift toward Why. We’ve also learned a lot from authors Don Schmincke and Chris Warner in their book, High Altitude Leadership, about the value that focusing on the Why can have in motivating your team members to achieve extraordinary results.
In their book, Don and Chris have a great name for getting bogged down in the How and What: “Tool Seduction”. In detailing Tool Seduction, they highlight that you cannot improve your company’s results simply by implementing new tools or processes (new Hows and Whats). While tools and processes are great, there are eventually critical moments when the tools or processes cannot accommodate. This imminent failure of the How and What places emphasis on your team sharing the beacon of the Why for your company.
The true lesson here is this: The key to galvanizing your organization’s success and driving positive results, even (especially) if you are facing an opponent with more people and/or resources, is instilling belief by defining and focusing on “Why we do what we do”.
At the end of the day, it is the beliefs from each of your team members that drive their passion, their behavior, and their decisions. The What and the How (the tools, process, systems, policies, and so on) just facilitate getting from that Why to a high-quality outcome. It’s not just the beliefs from your team that matter. By centering your message on the Why, your customers succeed in aligning with a partner that has similar beliefs and goals. Understanding your Why helps build long-lasting partnerships with organizations moving in similar directions.
Every company has a Why, How, and What, but the order of emphasis you place on each can make all the difference in the world. Leading with Why instead of focusing on How you’re going to do something or What you’re going to do next, is the game changer in inspiring your team and your customers.
So… what is Prominence’s Why?