Starting with “Why?”

What is the purpose of you reading this article right now?  Is it out of curiosity, interest, boredom?  Where are you as you read this, are you in the middle of something, half distracted or are you relaxed? So far, have you asked yourself how your day is going or are you on auto-pilot going through the motions?

Finding Your Why

My role as a leadership development consultant is to help organisations in finding their ‘why’.  Simon Sinek, a well-known leadership guru and motivational speaker, talks about this with his audiences and has built a successful business around this concept.   His model of the three ‘golden circles’ prompts teams and individuals to take long hard look at not just what they do but also how they do it and ultimately, why they do it. 

"Diagram of Simon Sinek's Golden Circle model, illustrating three concentric circles labeled from the outermost to the innermost: 'What', 'How', and 'Why'. The model emphasizes the importance of starting with 'Why' to inspire action and leadership."

Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle Model explaining ‘What’, ‘How’, and ‘Why’

I often coach executives and managers from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds.  At some point during our initial conversation, I will invite the client to become curious about their personal ‘why’.  This is an essential part of the coaching process.

Asking the Right Questions

During the coaching relationship, we explore why the individual has chosen this particular role, for example. We ask all of the why’s!  For example, why you, why now, and why this organisation / team / environment etc.  As you can imagine, at the initial stages of the process, answers such as ‘well the bills need to be paid’ or ‘I enjoy my job’ or, ‘Well if I won the lotto, it would all be very different!’ begin to emerge. 

However, when we really get down to the nub of things, we find that the reasons why people do the things they do are for the most part tied into some aspect of their beliefs and values systems.  By that, I mean that they somehow either harbour beliefs that this is the only option they have at the moment, or that they are selecting it out of choice because it means something to them.  I.e., it ties in with the things they value the most, ranging from freedom, creativity, making a difference, working in a team environment to leading others and helping people reach their potential.   When we find a spark of why, or in other words the deeply held values of the individual, we can move forward into more exploration.  The same can be said for teams and organisations, when they find their purpose, everything flows from there.

Pause and Reflect

As you move through your day today, I’d invite you to pause and reflect on the purpose of your activities.  Are you feeling stressed, hurried, under obligation? Or are you able to tune into your overall ‘why’ and remind yourself of the purpose behind doing the things that you do?  Maybe now would be a good time to do that. Pause, breathe and check in!

Join me again next week where I will explore beliefs and values systems in more detail.  If you would like help finding your why, contact me directly at denise@obrienlearningsolutions.ie for all your one-to-one coaching and team development needs.

 

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