But Why?

Posted 11 February By Hanju LeeLeadershipNo Comments

But Why?

The third year into running my own business, I was stuck. I was busy with a lot of projects and drowning in work. Most of the tasks bottle-necked at my desk and I was frustrated. I needed help.

After much thought and with a sense of desperation, I hired a business coach. He gave me my very first assignment – to answer this question:

“What do you want?” 

Imagine the future, and in this future, you are getting ready for bed at the end of the day and you think to yourself, “Wow, that was a perfect day, I am truly living my best life.” What does that look like? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? How are you feeling? Who are you helping?

Doing this exercise really helped me to see my best future. My VISION.

But the next question really threw me for a loop. “Why does it matter?” To put it bluntly, he said, “That’s great that you want to do, feel and obtain all those things…but why? Why does that matter to you?”

Answering this question was my next step in finding my MISSION.

If you were able to work through the Vision Script we discussed last week, hopefully you have more clarity on what the future looks like for you. But it doesn’t stop there.

As we talked about before: Vision = Where are we going?

Mission = Why are we going there?

What if someone told you to dig a ditch all day, then the next day you had you fill it back up. And you did this all week, and then for an entire year. They’ll even pay you for it – how about $150,000 per year. Would you do it?

Most won’t. And if they did do it? They might end up going crazy at the end.

Because without the why, it might as well just be torture.

If you are leading a company, or leading a team, you have a responsibility that goes beyond just giving assignments. You help the ones doing those assignments understand the purpose in what they do. We can’t expect people to show up every morning excited to be there and productive without letting them know where you are headed (Vision) and why that matters (Mission).

On a final note, tell them what their role is in their journey there. Communicating that changes the work experience from a set of meaningless tasks into a meaningful mission.

This is leadership. It will make all the difference in the world. And it costs you nothing! It’s free to you, and freeing to your team.

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