Episode #33: Why
For me, to process something, I need to know the reason behind something so that I can fit things in. This strategy is fresh, current, and on the minds of many leaders right now. Simon Sinek’s Ted talk about Why helps direct people’s purpose and reasons, and I share how to apply that to the business world.
For me, asking myself Why helps me to slow down and think carefully. The purpose of this strategy is to make you slow down and think about your reasons for doing something. It’s supposed to break up your habits so that you can examine your actions and whether they fit in with your current goals. Maybe you’ll realize that you don’t really need to do that particular task anymore. Maybe you have a staff member that could do the task for you instead.
Whomever your leadership team is, whether it’s manufacturing, accounting, or whatever, asking Why you want to do something helps you align where you want to go with where you are right now. As a leadership strategy, it’s very important when you get everyone in the room, to ask “Why would employees want to integrate this into their daily activities? Why is this a good idea?”.
If we take a moment to ask this question, then it helps us become more straight forward in the conversation. It helps you see all the ways that something could go right or wrong. When you share your Why, you have a better opportunity for others to get on board with your vision.
Call to Action: Ask yourself “Why?” throughout the day for the next week. The reason for asking Why is making sure that we’re still doing things for our current Why. If you’re getting the wrong results, you need to question your Why.
Hello and welcome to episode number thirty-three of the Strategy Corner, where our goal is to get you to take action. I’m your host, Michel Zink, the owner of Intentional Solutions Corp. On today’s episode, the strategy we’re gonna be talking about is the word why. So we’re doing one word today and that strategy is all around the word. Why? I’m going to start off with a little story and tell you why this is so important. So this morning, my family and I were sitting around the island while my daughter was eating breakfast. And my husband asked me, what’s your schedule this week? And right away, my brain goes to everything that I’m doing today, which is I’m taping this on a Tuesday. So it’s going to have to go to for the executive women meeting all these different things that are going in my mind for today and then tomorrow, then Thursday and then Friday. And all I can think about is I have no room for anything that he’s asking me to do. So my next question to him, after he asked me, what’s your schedule? I said, why? Why do you need to know? And the reason why I ask this question is because for me to process something, I need to know the why. And then I can fit whatever it is in to my schedule.
Now, of course, my husband and daughter looked at me like I was crazy and didn’t know why I needed to know why. So I shared with them how my brain works. Now, I don’t know if anybody out there is like me, and I’m assuming there are. But for me, I need to know the why again in order for me to fit things in. So that’s why I’m doing a strategy podcast about why today, because it’s fresh. It’s very relevant to even the times. It’s a strategy that is used among many leaders. If we think about this big talk that Simon Sinek did about why, if you have not seen it, go on YouTube and find it. But he talks about the reason why people start organizations, why you do anything in life is the reason for you doing everything. And it’s a strategy that he utilizes to help people figure out what their next thing to do is, what their purpose is in life. And the reason behind people doing anything. For me, I utilized why in those types of situations. But then also I utilize it to slow myself down so that I can really think about if the thing that I’m about to do is really important. So that’s step one. I asked myself why? Because I need to know, is this really important or could I be possibly doing something else that would be more important? So, for instance, if I’m going to meet a client, my question, for instance, if I’m going to do a task item, let’s think about accounting and I want to or I have on my calendar to download my expenses for the week.
But really, my brain wants to do something else. My brain wants to go ahead and pick my daughter up from school and not do the expense download and focus on my QuickBooks like I had scheduled. So what I do in that moment is I slow down and I asked myself why? Why do I possibly want to download the expense items? And that helps me get clear on if that’s the right thing to do in that moment or not. Another reason or another way that I use why is to become clear if I should be doing something the same way or if I should be mixing it up. So for all my managers and leaders out there, when we do something, sometimes we do things because this is how we’ve done it before. I can think back to my days in corporate and how I would set a process up. And for instance, I had a process for every time we got audited for worker’s comp and every time I’d get together these same items and I would, you know, save them on my desktop or, you know, on the server. And then I would go ahead and create a file for the auditor to look at. ET cetera, et cetera. So a lot of times I’ll just follow the same route. But when I started utilizing the strategy of why, I would ask myself, well, why am I doing this? Is there a better, more efficient way for me to do this? Why do I do it this way? Why does the auditor ask for this?
So what it does to this whole why strategy is it makes you decide and slow down and see if what you’re doing is still a good reason for doing it. So it allows your brain to think about other possibilities. So this is really helpful when you’re in a situation where you’ve been in a job for a while and you’re just you have these rote tasks that you do. It’s a great way to ask yourself why. Why do I do this? Maybe you have a staff of individuals who could possibly take this off your plate. Maybe it’s something you don’t even need to do any more, because when you actually look at why you’re doing it, you realize that maybe no one even reads this report that you put together. So let me go ahead and ask individuals that I send this to, you know, what results they get from it, how it’s beneficial for them to do their jobs before I just continue doing what tomorrow is always doing.
Another way that y is really important, especially in the leadership role, when you’re directing managers that work underneath you, they like to know why you’re doing things and why is this important. So when they’re sharing with their employees maybe a new process that’s implemented or a new way of doing things within the organization, it helps for them to explain and get buy in from their employees. So as leaders and organizations, we should always be questioning our why? And it’s very important when it comes to leadership strategy, when you’re working in a team, you’ve other leaders all together in a room and you have H.R. professional, you have a manufacturing possibly professional, you have an accounting professional, you have an engineering professional. I’m just giving examples. Whoever your leadership team is, and if someone has an idea or a thought, it’s always great in your brain or out loud to ask them why. Why is that a good idea? Why would we want to do this? What and why would employees want to integrate this into their daily activities? Why is this a good idea?
So it’s just a great way to get people to start thinking and running through different types of scenarios to better align with where they want to go and where they need to be. Because let’s be honest, there’s a lot of opportunities that come our way, especially in business. And if we don’t ask ourselves why, if we don’t take a moment to just take a break and instead of saying yes to everything, asking why, why do I want to work with this client? Why do I want to produce this item to sell? Why do I want to reach out and talk to this individual? By doing that, it helps you solve a lot of things ahead of time, especially if let’s say you want to make a call to an individual and you have to ask yourself why you get to make the list of all of the reasons why. And so when you call them, you’re very specific and straightforward as to why you’re calling them.
So if, for instance, I’m calling a prospect and I’ve met them at an event, I would ask myself, well, why do I even want to talk to them? And what I do is I go back and I think about the conversation we had in person and I get something and I pull something from our conversation. And that’s my why? Maybe they mention something that they’re having a difficulty with that I could help them with. Maybe they mentioned a opportunity that I need to connect with them so I can to find out where the opportunity is. How can I get involved? How can I sign up? So asking yourself why and asking your leadership team why and asking, you know, people above you and even yourself why, helps you to decide ahead of time all the different avenues that maybe could go right – could go wrong. And then it also helps you to determine how your employees might question your decisions and the reasoning for doing something.
Now, of course, you don’t need to tell anybody why you’re doing something. But I do know for a fact that when you share your why, you have a better opportunity for people to get on board and to become owners of your why and the what you want to actually produce, build, create, put into the world. So this week’s Strategy Corner lesson is why. And your action, your call to action is to go ahead, and as you’re going through your day each day, ask yourself why. Now, this might seem again a little bit redundant, but for instance, if you’re driving to work and you always go a certain way, ask why. Maybe there’s a better way to go. Maybe on the way you could stop off and get that Starbucks that you want, but you never do because it’s not on your way that you always go. But it’s door. But you could think leave of five minutes earlier, or you could just take a different route and you could go through Starbucks and arrive at work feeling excited and happy that you’re able to do something different that day. It could be when your going to make dinner tonight and you’re feeling stressed out because you’ve been working all day and you’ve had a rough day maybe with client meetings, maybe as a full day. It was a productive. But you’re just not feeling making dinner. Ask yourself, why? Is your why making dinner, providing your family with a healthy meal? Is your why because you want to eat healthy? Well, is there any other options instead of you making the dinner? Maybe you can go ahead and do Uber eats and order something in. Maybe on your way home you could pick something up. Maybe you can ask your husband for on his way home he could pick something up.
So what I want you to do is challenge yourself. Ask yourself why. And the reason for my why is to ensure that we’re doing things for our current why. There’s a lot of times already decide ahead of time about something. We decide on a process and we’d never question the why again. And that’s what you’re talking about strategy, that’s one way that you can definitely get behind the ball is by doing the same thing and expecting a different result. So if you’re getting the wrong result, you need to question your why. Why did I even set this up? So that’s your call to action. I want you every day this week and the next seven days to ask yourself why throughout the day and see if it makes you do things differently or see if it makes you be more enthusiastic about doing things. Because another thing I’ve noticed is when I asked myself why. Especially if you go back to the example of being exhausted from working all day and really high productivity. If I asked myself why am I making this dinner and I think about myself, my family and making us healthy, that actually gives me energy to produce an amazing meal. And I’m not coming into it feeling overwhelmed and more like a victim, like here I am again, having to make dinner for my family. When I asked myself why I realize this is exactly in alignment with where I want to go and how I want to treat and feed my family. So it gives me energy to actually move through the task that I’m not really that excited about doing.
OK, so now if you could please go to i-Tunes, Stitcher, Google Play and subscribe to the Strategy Corner. If you could also leave a review on i-Tunes, that would be amazing. Right now, I don’t have any reviews. I just have a couple people going on and giving me a rating, which is amazing. But if you could leave a review, I’d really appreciate it. If you could also go to my website, IntentionalSolutionsCorp.com and sign up to get my weekly blog post and this podcast, I would appreciate it. Until next time, remember: through action and growth, progression happens. Let’s take action together. Thank you and create an amazing week.