Begin With The End In Mind
The Common Attempt
Many leaders attempt to “wing it” and simply do what they can with what they have.
They often get the job done faster than others, but they hit ceilings and barriers faster as well.
The difference, and tragedy, of building or scaling a business this way is that these types of leaders struggle to breakthrough these ceilings and succeed because they never took the time to visualize the organization they NEEDED from the beginning.
They rely on their sales and manipulation skills to attempt to make their people into what the company needs.
Yet, what they should have done is take the time to create and visualize the role that the organization needed, then hire the right person for that specific seat and then help guide from there.
When the pieces don’t fit together how they should, the final product and its sustainability suffers.
The takeaway for the leader here is to not only know what types of roles and positions are necessary for your company to evolve into your visions of it, but to continue to take out a clean sheet of paper and draw better and better versions of your organization while continuing to move the pieces that need moving.
Do NOT stick with the people you have and the positions you have already hired for because you already made those decisions and are "doing what you can with what you have".
What you have is the ability to make changes as you see fit... continuously, but the caveat is you have to be able to visualize what exactly your organization is meant to accomplish and how it is going to do it!
Begin with the end!
The Golden Circle
Sinek’s crux of his TED Talk and many of the chapters of the book address the picture below:
Companies that allow their “Why” to drive their operations, their meetings, their communication, their marketing, and their sales often find that they get a much better response from their customers and their peers through the day to day operations.
From a marketing perspective, customers and potential employees really don’t care about "What" your company does or "How" you do it.
What ultimately pulls them in and has them gravitate to your organization and visualize it as a career as opposed to a stepping stone, is "WHY" your company exists.
- What is it for?
- What type of impact WILL it have in the future?
- How can they be part of it?
Answer those while speaking with others about your purpose and they will be hooked.
Example of an Impactful Why
Think about it… Tom’s shoes may be stylish, but in the end, they are just another pair of shoes. What has drawn and continues to draw customers to their brand, is the "Why" behind the company.
This picture is directly from their website:
You aren’t just buying a pair of shoes for your own feet. You have the opportunity to simultaneously place a pair on someone else’s feet in need as well. Who wouldn’t want to do that?
How do you think Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Toms, responds when people as him what he does for a living?
“I make and sell shoes”…?
Think about that the next time you are speaking to a potential customer, a random stranger, or the potential hire in an interview and really contemplate the type of impact or curiosity you will create by what you say.
Find meaning and Pursue It
The lesson here is for leaders and founders to take the time to make sure they are not only crystal clear about their "Why" of their organization, but that they are HAD by it.
Being HAD by a purpose doesn't simply mean that it excites you. It means that you simply cannot escape it. Fulfilling or achieving it must get done or you cannot go on about your life peacefully or normally.
If that purpose, cause, or "Why" is that meaningful to you and it is GOOD for the people pursuing it and the world itself, then your biggest challenge is going to be continuing to convince and seduce others towards it... continuously.
If you think you can simply print it out, frame it, hang it on your wall, and your organization will boldly follow it... you may end up greatly disappointed!
Simon brings together numerous points around the importance of starting with your unique “Why” and leading with “Why”.
But perhaps his most important point is based around “keeping” your why.
Most of us fight against our human tendency to allow our motivation to wash wane. The struggle for leaders is that this impacts the entire organization and not simply their immediate momentum and progress.
"All organizations start with ‘Why', but only the great ones keep their ‘Why' clear year after year. Those who forget ‘Why' they were founded show up to the race every day to outdo someone else instead of outdoing themselves.”
Figure out your “Why”
Be had by your cause!
Set your own goals!
Compete with yourself daily to beat them!
Today… and every tomorrow!
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