Conversations are the currency for change, and they need to “Start With Why.”
They can’t just be conversations for the sake of conversing. People want meaning. They are thirsty to contribute. They want to know that they are valuable and what they are doing is making a difference to someone else. They want to be connected to a greater mission than themselves.
This is why I say that the real work I’m doing with teams and organizations is aimed at engaging minds and hearts. We need and want both.
Simon Sinek, national bestselling author of Start With Why, has been an inspiring voice on this subject and continues to remind us all of what he refers to as “The Golden Circle.” He draws a ring of three circles: an inner circle, middle, and outer ring. The inner circle has the word “why.” The middle ring reads “how.” And the outer ring says “what.”
His simple diagram has had a tremendous impact on so many people globally because it reveals what they intuitively already knew. They knew that we often have our focus backwards in our own lives and certainly within the teams and organizations we serve. How many meetings have you gone to when the first question on the table was, “What are we doing to do?”
I’ve watched this in companies across the country and around the globe, especially in the midst of the highly distracted and scattered culture I talk about in my book ReMember. We are running so quickly that our first interactions with each other are often focused on “what we’re going to go do,” which races us directly past the more important and engaging conversations.
We get stuck working from the outside of the circle in, instead of beginning from our core and Starting With Why. It’s a common-sense thing, but when we’re in reactionary thermometer mode, we tend to jump to the WHAT rather than return to WHY we’re even doing it in the first place.
Aligning the temperature we are trying to set begins with getting clear on why we are doing what we’re doing.
Jason Barger is the globally celebrated author of Step Back from the Baggage Claim, ReMember, and the newly released book Thermostat Cultures, as well as a coveted keynote speaker and leadership consultant. More importantly, he’s striving to be an above average father, husband, and friend.
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