Start with why
We are very good at telling you about “what” and “how” we do what we do, but perhaps less good when it comes to telling you “why” we do what we do.
I have just finished reading a very interesting and stimulating book by an author called Simon Sinek called Start With Why.
His position is that great leaders inspire everyone to take action because they have started with why.
A good deal of his case study material seems to revolve around Apple Inc and the fact that they are not really a computer company at all (that was surprising!) but a company that wants to “challenge the status quo”.
Their leader (Steve Jobs) started with a why, what and how had to be good as well, but they definitely followed why.
It prompted me to think about why we do what we do.
We are firm of Chartered Financial Planners but that is simply what.
We deliver independent financial advice and planning services but again that is more about what and how than anything else.
I asked one of my colleagues why he did what he did and his answer was a bit of a surprise. I sort of cynically expected his answer to revolve around money after all he is a Financial Planner and does this for a living!
But for him it was more about the buzz he got from that ‘lightbulb moment’ when he saw a client suddenly get comprehension about a complex financial matter.
Or better still when a client realised that they had in deed got the financial resources necessary to live the life they wanted in a sustainable fashion at a point in time when they wanted it and that they wouldn’t run out of money.
His ‘why’ was based around helping people to achieve their financial and life ambitions.
Sinek believes that people buy us and want long term relationships with businesses more because they have identified with the firms why than the what and how. Loyalty he claims is deep rooted when why is dominant and price and product become very much less important.
As I said an interesting book and one that got me thinking about the way we communicate our business I shall think more about why than what or how in the future.