Arguably this is the most important question in the world but how often do we apply it to business?
The Overells partners recently went to a leadership conference where this was one of the central themes. One idea that was discussed was "The Golden Circle," which was conceived by Simon Sinek, a leading business speaker. The concept is summarised in this image:
For a detailed explanation check out this TED Talk video.
The foundation of The Golden Circle is 'find your why'. It is important for leaders, business owners, team members (everyone!) to understand why they do what they do. What are their motivations on a short- and long-term basis?
Most people and companies know what they sell and how they sell it but neglect the why. With the three questions together there is a filter through which to make decisions (from a company or client level). There is a foundation for innovation and for building trust. When the three questions are in balance others will be able to say with clarity and certainty "We know who you are" and "We know what you stand for".
Profit is never the why, it is a result. The why is about impact and contribution to others, it inspires us. Can you think of an example where you've had a great customer experience? What made it such a great experience? We asked the Overells team these questions and with all the different answers the underlying cause of greatness was that the company seemed to show genuine care for the customer as a person, not just as a way of making money. People don't buy a product the buy value. When values are aligned a relationship can be built between a company and its customer. Can you use your answers to these questions to help influence your why, your purpose?
More tools to help you are available on Simon Sinek's website. If you are after some thought-provoking, blunt articles to help you find your purpose/why check out Mark Manson's website.
Lastly, in the words of Albert Einstein, "Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value."