You cannot be a leader unless you can answer this question: Why? Why are we doing this, and why now?
Many business leaders focus on the “what” and the “how.” They think about their products and services, processes, markets, costs, and competitors. They think about sales goals and marketing strategies. But very few of them stop to ask: Why?
The fundamental problem with this approach is that it leads people to believe that everything is connected only indirectly – through performance indicators or financial results; in other words, these leaders believe that what matters most is what you do rather than why you do it. But nothing could be further from the truth.
What you do and why you do it must go hand in hand if we want to achieve sustainable success as leaders.
What is your Why?
The why is a person’s reason for getting up in the morning, their purpose in life. It is the part of us that is connected to something larger than ourselves. It is the core part of our identity that drives us to take action, to make a positive difference in the world.
Like an internal GPS, the why helps us find our way when we lose focus, and it drives us towards our goals. Why is important for anyone who wants to be successful. For example, if you want to create a new product, you need to know why people would buy it.
If you want to change people’s behaviour, you need to know why they do what they do.
Knowing your why also helps you to connect with others. When you understand why another person acts the way they do, it makes it easier for you to build trust with them.
Start With Why
Most people think they know why they do what they do, but they don’t. They just do what they do because they do it (🤯). And that’s the core cause of most problems.
The more you know why you do what you do, the more impactful you will be. The more people will want to follow you. The more people will believe in you. And the more you will believe in yourself.
Start with why. Always begin at the end. Leaders who start with their Why are more productive, effective and successful.
How to find your Why?
The best way to find your why is to ask yourself why you do what you do.
Every time you do something, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” The real answers to these questions will reveal your why.
Once you know your why, you can create your “what” and “how.” Let’s say, for example, that you want to start a new business. Before you get started, ask yourself why you’re doing it. Why do you want to start a new business? Why do you want to create this particular product or service? Why do you want to go into this particular industry?
When you know your why, you are more likely to be successful. You will be able to focus on the right things at the right time and spend your time much more productively. When you know your why, it will be easier to make the right decisions, even when they are difficult. It will be easier to focus on what really matters and ignore everything else.
2. Know Your Customer
Your customer won’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. So, why do people choose your product, service, or solution?
- Why do they choose to buy from you?
- What do they want from you?
- Why do they come back to you?
- What do they value most from your relationship?
Your customer’s core desires will tell you what you need to know about your product or service. To understand your customer, you have to go on a journey through their eyes. You have to see the world the way they see it. You have to feel what they feel. You have to use your senses to experience the world as they experience it.
3. Know Your Competition
Competition is the best way to know yourself. In fact, it’s the only way to know yourself.
The competition will show you what you care about.
- It will show you what you stand for.
- It will show you what you value.
- It will show you what you’re unwilling to compromise on.
- It will show you your strengths and weaknesses.
- It will show you who you are.
- And it will show you what your customers value.
Your competition is not your enemy; it is your mentor.
4. Know Your Own Strengths and Limitations
- Are you the best at what you do?
- Do you have the best products and services in your industry?
- Are you the most innovative in your industry?
- Do you have the lowest costs in your industry?
- Are you the best place to work for?
- Do you have the highest profit margins in your industry?
- Where are you strong and where are you weak?
There is no need to be perfect. Nobody is perfect. There is only the need to be good enough.
- What is your core competitive advantage?
- What do you do better than anyone else?
- What makes you special?
- What makes you different?
- What are your limitations?
- What are your weaknesses?
- Where do you need to improve?
5. Establishing the foundation for organic growth
Organic growth is the only sustainable growth. The question is what do you need to do to achieve it? How do you do it?
First, you have to understand your purpose and mission.
- Why are you in business?
- What do you want to accomplish with your business?
- What is your vision for your future?
- What do you want your business to stand for?
- What do you want your customers to feel?
- What are your core values?
Next, you have to identify your ideal customer.
- Who are they?
- What do they want?
- What are their needs?
- What can you do for them?
Finally, you have to identify your core strengths and weaknesses.
- What is your competitive advantage?
- What do you do best?
- What do you want to improve?
- What do you need to work on?