Why do we exist?
I recently had lunch with a political leader who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. Let’s be clear on this, I believe his work is truly trying to make the world a better place. As I reflected on our conversation I realized that he told me all of the things he and his organization is doing but never said why. We all do this. Getting caught up in the effort of the day believing it will get us closer to our goal. We see it as the logical next task. Other see it as the stuff we are working on. Few can articulate Why this task is so important to consume our day and get us closer to purpose, the reason we exist.
My friend left with me a few of his brochures for his political organization. They were very nice, and professional. They stated clearly the issues he is passionate about and the outcomes they wish to achieve. No where did it tell me why. This reminded me of a few brochures another friend had shared with me. I dug into my stack of stuff and found this 2nd political brochure. Placing the two side by side it was easy to see the two organizations claimed the same outcomes.
I will work with YOU, for “we the people,” to build and strengthen our local-based economies, with good jobs for all.
…..is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility.
Ultimately these two efforts are at polar opposites in political ideology even though both claim to desire stronger economic results. The end results they seek are the same, the manner in which they intend to get there vary vastly. Ultimately the difference of these two efforts rest in the why.
In business it is possible to have this same problem. Do you clearly articulate the why. You sell a better widget with faster processing at a cheaper price which allows your customers to achieve ten times more widget cycles than your closest competitor. But why? As consumers we seek to be inspired. As citizens we are seeking to be inspired. Find you why.
It would be tempting to try to answer my friends Why for him. I’ll refrain from doing so as it would be easy to get it wrong. Your customers are also left guessing if you don’t fill it in for them.
Find your why. Find your purpose. Then reinforce that message in everything you do.