Maybe you have already discovered your WHY or your company’s. But do you now know What you are going to do and How you’re going to do What? This article is based on Simon Sinek’s “Find Your WHY” book. It talks about how to find out WHAT and HOW to do WHAT if you already know your WHY. (And it’s about how to get others in your organization excited about your WHY).
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Last week I spoke with an entrepreneur. He develops software and employs several programmers.
We were talking about the WHY or the purpose of a company. He told me he knew his company’s WHY. In the past, he had done a WHY session.
The WHY of a company or an individual is his or her unique positive contribution and its impact on the world.
At the top of the company’s website, you can find its WHY. It cannot be missed. It’s about making users happy, making the world a better place, and the happiness they experience as they grow. Yes, I feel that.
“You know, Freek?”, he said. “We know our WHY. Our challenge is WHAT we are going to do now and how we get all employees enthusiastic about the WHY of our company”.
WHAT should you do now if you already know your WHY?
Sometimes I wonder what I should and want to do. Especially in the current situation, where I can no longer give training on-site.
Within the golden circle of Simon Sinek we know the WHY, the HOW, and the WHAT. The latter are the things you actually do every day, the products or services you deliver. They are the designs, programs (applications), advice, or devices (instruments).
Continue with HOW
According to Simon Sinek’s “Find Your WHY” book, HOW is your strength and the way to WHAT to do. Your HOWs are the activities and actions aligned with your values. They are closely related to your core qualities, your strengths. They express how you behave and what you do when you are at your best. They are simple and practical.
During a WHY discovery journey, a number of themes emerge. These are recurring ideas, words, sentences, or feelings in the characteristic stories about your life (or about the company). The WHY statement has been formulated on the basis of 2 themes. The other themes are the basis of HOW.
Examples of my other themes are empathy, connectedness, and positivity. Those are rather properties or characteristics of myself. These are not actions yet. In the next step I explain what my themes mean to me:
Empathy -> Being able to see the world through someone else’s eyes and perspective and being aware of the feelings of others
Connectedness -> Everyone is connected to each other and we are all part of something bigger
Positivism -> There is always something good to be found in every situation. Achievements must be celebrated. See the glass as half full
Now that I have put my HOW into words, I can strengthen them by adding a short description. This is how I place it in a context and describe what it looks like for me:
Being aware of the feelings of others: I let others know that I understand how they feel
Everyone is connected: I explore specific ways to increase my sense of belonging to others
There is always something good to be found in every situation: I help others see what’s going well for them to encourage them to keep their eyes on the positive.
What to do now?
If you have discovered your WHY and your HOW, then WHAT (to do) follows. Often these are things you already do and sometimes they are things you could do more or start doing.
I have been coaching and training others for years. This is closely linked to empathy, connection, and positivism.
In the area of positivism, it is also about motivating and enthusing others. When I sense discouragement, I try to lift or lighten people’s moods with good stories, jokes, and uplifting quotes example. It is up to me to collect them.
This week I am going to do something new: Together with three other entrepreneurs, we are starting a book club to discuss inspiring books (type self-help). The goal is to share what we have learned and what worked or not. Starting a book club fits well within my HOW in the area of connectedness, where I explore ways to increase the sense of connection I feel with others.
With your defined HOWs, it immediately becomes clear what you should do or not. You can check whether the opportunities, offers that come your way, fit within your HOW (your actions that are closely linked to your values). Is not this the case? Thank them kindly and stay open to new opportunities.
How to get others excited about your WHY
How should you stimulate the enthusiasm of your employees for your WHY? Well, I can write a separate blog about this. The point is to put your WHY at the center of everything. You talk about it all day, and you commit to it.
For the entrepreneur I spoke to last week, this means that you constantly ask yourself if your users are happy and if you make the world a better place (and know HOW to do it) with your services. It also applies to the type of assignments you take on, how you tackle them, and the people you’re hiring. Also, constantly ask yourself if you are still experiencing happiness with your growth.
You will need to reflect and do introspection, in which you consider what your role was in the events. Both the owner and the employees need to do this. Then you communicate how you kept the WHY of the company alive. You can do that during meetings, team retreats, but also via blogs, pitches, or job interviews. It’s about telling stories to get others excited to work with you because they feel connected to your WHY.
Do you want this too?
WHAT are you doing? What do you do to keep your WHY alive, and HOW do you do that? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article and I are looking forward to reading from you!
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Source: “Discover your WHY”, Simon Sinek