Leadership in Action – When You have a Strong Why, You do not Need the How

Leadership in Action – When You have a Strong Why, You do not Need the How


Getting locked into how something needs to be done holds back our teams and ourselves.  When we Connect the Dots by focusing on the “why” of our project, we engage our team into a purpose that drives action and accountability.


Why Creates a strong Image of Success

As leaders, we can get frustrated when our staff keep asking us “why” something needs to be done. Instead of automatically thinking they are asking because they do not want to do it, realize that knowing the why enables your staff to have a clearer picture of what success looks like. This clear view of success creates a sense of purpose which enables the teleological (goal-seeking) mechanism to engage.


Why Creates Energy, Accountability and Resilience

We have all had a staff member who seems to give up as soon as the first attempt does not work. They have all sorts of reasons and excuses for why success has not happened. The interesting thing, about the excuses and blame, is that it requires creative thinking to come up with why something is not working.


Alternately, we also have had a staff member who has true grit, no matter how many failed attempts they have. They keep trying a new approach until they are successful. The difference between these two staff members is not skill, but purpose.  When your staff have purpose, the teleological mechanism provides your staff with feedback on whether the current effort is on target or needs to be adjusted. This self-regulating process is critical in creating true accountability and resilience. Purpose, or a strong why, creates a want-to effort. This “effort making a difference” mindset eliminates the need to blame. The creative energy is then focused on solving the problems instead of making the problems impossible.


So, when we take time to Connect The Dots, explain the why, and provide a purpose for achieving the goals, we connect into the discretionary energy of our staff.  This, in turn, drives energy, accountability and innovation.