Why ‘Why’ Is The Bomb, Literally: How To Inspire Change And Motivation In Your Team

In his powerful book  Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action Simon Sinek says –

“People don’t care what you do, they care why you do it.”

Most of the time, when there is:-

Lack of commitment
No change

It’s because the individual or team has not connected with the WHY, or:-

Why am I doing this?
What’s in it for me?
Why is this important?
What are the benefits of this for me, my team, the organisation?
What are the consequences of inaction (particularly for me)?
What will it feel like if I DON’T achieve this?
How awesome will it be for me if I DO?

If you are becoming frustrated with others’ failure to act, sluggish momentum, or if you just feel like your team are “failing to get on board”, try honing in on the ‘why’. Draw their attention to the motivation, the ‘juice’, the metaphorical East of whatever it is you want to achieve.

Tip for leaders?

Don’t rush too quickly into ‘how-to’ mode i.e. action, next steps and tactics; until you’re really sensing others get the ‘why’ – in their hearts as well as their minds.

A sign? If they are on board, it feels more like you’re holding the reigns of a wild wonderful powerful horse who wants to gallop and take-off. Your biggest issue is putting some semblance of control on the thing.  If it feels more like dragging a reluctant donkey up the hill, this is your cue to move into the WHY Quadrant and starting asking them questions like those above.

What are your tips for getting people on board with WHY?

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Suzi McAlpine

Suzi McAlpine is a Leadership Development Specialist and author of the award-winning leadership blog, The Leader’s Digest. She writes and teaches about accomplished leadership, what magic emerges when it’s present, and how to ignite better leadership in individuals, teams and organisations. Suzi has been a leader and senior executive herself, working alongside CEOs and executive teams in a variety of roles. Her experience has included being a head-hunter, an executive coach, and a practice leader for a division at the world’s largest HR consulting firm. Suzi provides a range of services as a Leadership Development Specialist, including executive coaching, leadership workshops and development programmes for CEOs, leadership teams and organisations throughout New Zealand.

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