The Value of “Why”
Perhaps more important than what you do is why you do what you do.
I first discovered this philosophy after listening to Simon Sinek’s famous TED talk entitled How Great Leaders Inspire Action. Sinek is also the author of the renowned book Start with Why.
Simon Sinek defines the “why” as the calling/purpose which drives you to get out of bed in the morning. Inspired leaders are acutely aware of their “why.” Their “why” not only drives their personal goals but also their brand messaging, marketing, etc.
When an individual or a business discovers their “why” they are better equipped to deliver an inspiring message which people actually believe in. I’m always drawn to companies that I know have a deeper purpose behind their products (such as Apple or Patagonia). I’m attracted to these companies because I believe in their “why.” As Sinek points out, “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.” This is an invaluable marketing lesson!
When you effectively portray the purpose and the driving force behind your product or service, you will inevitably gain a following.
Furthermore, companies and leaders who foster a culture where asking “why” is encouraged are more likely to be innovators! Unfortunately, most companies who operate with a traditional top-down model often implicitly discourage employees from asking tough questions. But studies show that companies that promote question-asking are more likely to succeed and challenge the status-quo.