Why are people willing to line up for hours to get the latest iPhone, iPad, or iPod? Why are people willing to tattoo the corporate logo of Harley Davidson onto their bodies? Why did 250,000 people assemble at the Lincoln Memorial to hear Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech? The event wasn't advertised. And yet, a multitude of blacks and whites joined together on August 28, 1963 to listen to the controversial preacher. Why?
Author Simon Sinek believes the answer is wrapped up in the clarity of their WHY. In fact, Sinek said in his book Start With Why, "Great leaders, in contrast, are able to inspire people to act. Those who are able to inspire give people a sense of purpose or belonging that has little to do with any external incentive or benefit to be gained. Those who truly lead are able to create a following of people who act not because they are swayed, but because they are inspired."
Very few people or companies or churches can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. When I say WHY, I don't mean to make money or to grow your church - those are results. By WHY I mean what is your purpose, cause or belief? WHY does your company or church exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?
When most people, churches or companies think, act or communicate they usually start from WHAT and work their way to WHY. And for good reason, it's easier to go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. All of us are clear on WHAT we do, and some of us can easily explain HOW we do it, but rarely can we articulate WHY we do WHAT we do.
And this is what separates the inspired from the rest of the pack. Every single one of them, regardless of their size or industry, thinks, acts and communicates from the inside out.
Look at Jesus. To me He is the most inspiring leader to ever walk the planet. Certainly, because His cause lives on 2000 years after He did, can attest to that. In fact, His followership is growing faster than ever before and there are a larger number of Christians today than all of history combined.
Jesus had a clear WHY. He said, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) And he also said, "I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13) His heart, his focus, his emotions were on the "outsiders", the sinners, not the religious and churched. And His WHY was so clear it infuriated a religious mob who eventually killed Him for it. But He also communicated it so clearly it inspired a group of followers to willingly lay down their lives for the cause of building the Church.
So, what's your WHY? What's your cause, purpose, or belief that will separate you from the pack? I know you know WHAT you do and I hope you know HOW you to do it. But WHY do you do what you do? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?