I recently began pro-bono work with an executive at a local non-profit, The Berry Center. Although it is important that I make money, at times I meet someone who's personal desire to change is so compelling that I can only say yes to the opportunity to work together. In this case, this executive is shifting from a role that focused on administrative support of the founder and board to leading a major new program for the center that will result in new and sustainable agro-economic models that not only impact current local farmers, but the future of their families and the community at large.
In our work, I shared with her one of my favorite Ted Talks, "Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action," which was a core part of my Leadership segment when I taught Organization Behavior at McKendree University. I thought that this was particularly salient for her in needing to express a clear vision for the program that would create emotional appeal, align values and engage stakeholders around a shared purpose. The unexpected bonus of guiding her in this work was the realization that perhaps I should do more work on the "why" for my own business. The result was this:
"I believe that everyone of us has the ability to create something EXTRAORDINARY. Each person's EXTRAORDINARY is unique because it is an expression of their true passion. That is where I come in. As a CEO Coach, I help CEOs, Founders, Entrepreneurs and Leaders create EXTRAORDINARY in one of the biggest parts of their lives - their work. People are their best selves, energized, happy and fulfilled, when they are contributing to something to which they feel strongly connected. Want a workforce that has passion and commitment for your business, where every member of your team contributes to great products and great customer service, and profitability and shareholder value are a natural byproduct of everything that you do? Let's Ignite your EXTRAORDINARY."
I cannot begin to put into words the power of Simon's concept of "why." It is a bold and transformative way of framing what you are really about. Speaking your "why" with confidence is the start of surrounding yourself with people who share your passion and values. I hope that you are inspired to discover your why.