I am reading a very interesting book entitled Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Sinek Simon. In his book, Mr. Simon, writes about the importance of discovering the “why” behind the “what” you are doing.
One of the tools Mr. Simon uses to add importance to the “why” is called “The Golden Circle”. He defines this circle as …an alternative perspective to existing assumptions about why some leaders and organizations have achieved such a disproportionate degree of influence.
This circle consists of three overlaid circles (one large circle with two smaller circles within it). Each of these circles are labeled three main components: what, how, and why. “What” makes up the outermost circle. “How” makes up the middle portion of the circle. “Why” makes up the innermost circle.
Mr. Simon goes on to define each area of the circle with the following definitions:
WHAT – Every single company and organization on the planet knows WHAT they do. This is true no matter how big or small, no matter what industry. Everyone is easily able to describe the products or services a company sells or the job function they have within that system. WHATs are easy to identify.
HOW – Some companies and people know HOW they do WHAT they do. Whether you call them a “differentiating value proposition ,”“proprietary process” or “unique selling proposition,” HOWs are often given to explain how something is different or better. Not as obvious as WHATs, many think these are the differentiating or motivating factors in a decision. It would be false to assume that’s all that is required.
WHY – Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. When I say WHY, I don’t mean to make money— that’s a result. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?
The next time you set out to accomplish a task, I would encourage you to ask yourself these same three questions: “Why?”, “”How?”, and “What?” And, I would always encourage you to start with the “Why?” because once the “Why?” is in place, everything else flows from there.
What is your “Why?” for your next project?