Have you heard the phrase, “Find your why”? You can learn more about this on Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk, which has already garnered over 4.1 million views.
A couple of weeks ago, 250 Dwyer Group franchise owners and corporate staff met in Montego Bay, Jamaica for our annual leadership summit. Our speaker for the event was David Mead, co-author of Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for Your and Your Team – which he wrote with Simon Sinek. Mead has worked with organizations such as Johnson and Johnson, Zappos, Capital One, Home Depot and Hyatt.
Mead helped all of us learn how to start to put together a simple WHY statement.
Your WHY should be: To ________________ so that _________________. It should be inspiring, and the “to” should be something you have control over. “So that” is something you may not have any control. Mead’s WHY statement: To propel people forward so that they may make an impact on the world.
Mead said it took him six years to polish his WHY statement.
I learned that a WHY can’t be about your work, your company or your family. Typically, what happens to you before the age of 20 will help formulate the person who you become.
Can you think of stories in your own life that shaped you? I remember a handful of events that made me who I am today – good and bad. My own challenge is to create my own “WHY” that helps guide me the rest of my life.
In the days since then, I’ve thought a great deal of what Mead talked about. We ordered his book, as I want to finalize my own “WHY.” I realize that our “WHYs” guide how we will all be remembered.
MK developed her WHY in the mid 1990’s. She said that back then it was referred to as her ‘personal mission statement.’ Her WHY is virtually the same as her mission statement – except she added the “so that” to it.
I loved the quote from the movie The Natural between Robert Redford (Roy Hobbs) and Glenn Close (Iris Gaines):
“Gaines: I believe we have two lives.
Hobbs: How… what do you mean?
Gaines: The life we learn with and the life we live with after that.”
I know my WHY is formed from my history. It is important for me to be able to put it into words and focus on the “so that” part of the statement which will become my legacy.
Such is the case for so many of us who are trying to become better leaders. The first step, however, is determining our WHY.