Examples of WHY Statements

examples of WHY statements Blog Zilvold Coaching & Training
8 min read

Summary: A good WHY statement of an individual or a “tribe” will attract people who believe what they believe. This article gives you some examples of WHY statements to inspire you to discover your own so you can experience more fulfillment by contributing and having an effect on the world.

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The other day, I heard an interview on the radio with an HR manager of a large multinational company. She said that most of their new hires are more interested in being able to contribute in a new job rather than a large pay check or any great job package.

I can image why people would rather contribute to the cause, purpose or WHY of a company. This will give them more fulfillment and the possibility to experience more joy. Furthermore, I believe they will be more committed and loyal to the company if their WHY fits the WHY of a company.

In an earlier article I explained that that the WHY consist of a contribution and an impact thereof.

The format of a WHY statement

Your WHY is your purpose, who you are, your cause, what you stand for or your belief. It is why you do things you do and this is applicable for both individuals (you) and companies. Simon Sinek calls this ‘tribes’ because NGO’s, schools or other public institutions can have their WHY as well.

In this article, I am giving you examples of the WHY statements of some well-known and perhaps some lesser known tribes and individuals. The reason is to inspire you to find your own WHY and to be more connected to the tribe you work for (or want to work for).

Spotify

Spotify is an online streaming service for music, podcasts and audiobooks (for those of you who didn’t know…). My family and I listen to it with great joy because we can listen to any song whenever we like it.

In a recent podcast, founder Daniel EK, shared the WHY of Spotify:

“To inspire human creativity by enabling a million artists to live of their art and a billion people to enjoy it and to be inspired by it.”

Wow, that hits home for me. As I am writing this article, I am listening to a playlist with music for deep concentration. A WHY is an expression of an emotion, a feeling. With the ease of how Daniel EK expresses the WHY of Spotify, I feel connected with this tribe.

La Marzocco

La Marzocco is a company based in Florence, Italy. They make espresso machines and grinders for cafés, restaurants and for at home. In the book “Find your WHY” by Simon Sinek he describes how this tribe discovered their WHY:

“To build relationships so that we enrich the lives of others.”

I enjoy drinking a good cup of coffee (especially a caffè Sospeso) and soon after reading their WHY statement, I was seeing Marzocco espresso machines everywhere.

Again, this WHY connects with my feelings. I enjoy drinking good coffee with friends, family, clients or when reading or working. It truly enriches my life.

Southwest Airlines

At the time that I was working for an engineering company in California, I often flew with Southwest Airlines from Burbank to Oakland and back. I enjoyed it very much flying  with this low cost airline. It was different, fun and the staff had a great sense of humor and was very service minded. The WHY from Southwest Airlines is:

“We connect people to what’s important in their lives through friendly air travel.”

What they do is offer friendly, low cost , and reliable air travel to connect people. And that is what a WHY should be: it should be actionable.

Zalando

It’s not always easy to express a clear WHY statement. Watch this short video below, where Zalando’s employees explain what they do and how they work.

Now, Zalando is a fashion company right? Or is it a tech company? You see the employees struggling to express what it makes it so great to work for Zalando. They have to explain it in one word. You can feel their emotion, their drive, their joy and enthusiasm but they struggle to find the right words.

What drives Zalando is:

“Reimagine fashion for the good of all.”

This is an extraordinary purpose. In fact, it consist of a contribution (reimagine fashion) and an effect (for the good of all). It is even actionable. For me, it doesn’t feel like a WHY statement. Perhaps I am just not connected to it, although I like the company and the video above. A WHY statement for Zalando that would resonate more to me could be:

“To reimagine fashion by creating, assembling, improving and rethinking so that all can benefit.”

This draft WHY statement is created by me by using words I found on Zalando’s website. You see, it’s easy to explain what you do and how you do it. This is linked to logic an ratio. Your WHY, on the other hand, is connected to emotions and feelings. This is much harder to express.

JBL

For this article, I did research on companies who make products I like and can appreciate. I recently bought a speaker from JBL. For such a small device it creates great sound so I visited their website and found their story:

 

“JBL brings music to life in a way you can feel. That’s why our sound powers the world’s most epic musicians, athletes and venues.”

Although this WHY statement is not exactly according to the format of a WHY statement, it still contains a contribution and an impact. More importantly, it is a positive statement. Something all WHY’s should be.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that a WHY statement does not include the values of a tribe (for example “We respect the environment”). Values are the HOW’s of a tribe.

Other WHY statements

Here are some other WHY statements of individuals and tribes:

“To inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, we can change the world.”
Simon Sinek

“To connect millions of people in real life all over the world, through a community marketplace– so that you can belong anywhere.”
Airbnb

“to serve by facilitating so that others can elevate themselves and experience more happiness and love.”
Freek Zilvold

All the statements above tell you WHY an individual or a tribe does what it does. If that resonates to the client, the employee or the donor, then they will find those who believe what they believe. They will then be successful and will have an impact on the world.

What is the WHY of your company or from yourself? Let me know in the comment field below. I and the other readers of this article are looking forward to reading from you!

Are you looking for your own WHY or the one of your tribe? Read here for more info or contact me!

Thank you for reading up to here & sharing this article with your colleagues, friends or family. And please SHARE this article with your network on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google + by pressing the buttons below so that they can also benefit from this article with examples of WHY statements.

Have you seen an error in this article? Let me know! I am grateful!

Disclaimer: I am not being paid to promote the tribes mentioned in this Blog nor do I own stocks from them.

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