The order you do something in is critical to getting the result you desire. When you start out on a trip, it is good to know where you want to go, otherwise, you can’t know when you have arrived. 

The same goes for constantly trying to solve the problems in your business, without ever knowing why you are even in business?  This scrambling will never give the best outcome, and you will be always working harder than you need to for the same results.

Those of you that have young children or have worked with them know how they are fixated with asking “why”. Regardless of whether they recognize this for what it is, they know it is the foundation of whether they will do something or not. I think questions are the key to learning, growth, and success, and if there is a hierarchy to questions then “why” would have to be number one. 

Why? 

  • Engages your understanding of how important something is, its priority, and its urgency
  • Indicates the level of quality and the standard of work required.
  • Is the doorway to understanding our emotional attachment to something.

In summary “why” is often a connection to the purpose, and encourages the collaboration that allows big things to happen.

A few years back we watched Japan beat Ireland and Scotland in the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which in my opinion was a monumental feat. Consider that Ireland beat the All Blacks in 2016 and in 2018 so it would be reasonable to say that Japan would or at least could also, therefore, beat the All Blacks! 

The compelling question is why did Japan win? They focused hard on the task for over 12 months, they committed themselves to beat Ireland and get to the second round of the playoffs. Their planning and focus allowed them to build their belief and convince themselves that this was achievable.  Japan’s “why” was to honor the loyalty of their fans and their whole country who is supporting them by hosting the Rugby World Cup.

When your “why is clear and big enough, two things happen: 

  • You increase your conviction and also your likelihood of success. 
  • You focus more resources and commitment on the HOW.

This process of escalation builds focus and eliminates other distractions. Once this gets to a  singular focus; Take the case of young Maasai men needing to kill a lion to reach manhood and warrior status. It becomes non-negotiable, thereby demanding total commitment and conviction to succeed and to kill that lion or die in the process.

If you do not have a written statement that encompasses your “why”, then start right now by creating that.

  1. Once you have written it down, it is very important to test it for strength. 
  2. Write down all the things you did today and then rate them 1 to 10 relative to their alignment to your why statement IE. To run my business by example, doing all the things that I teach, and advocate that my clients should do: a written vision, a business plan, and KPI’s shared 90-day goals, etc.
  3. Now mark those with a score. If 10 equals excellent alignment and 0 equals no value.
  4. I add up the score and divide it by the number of tasks on my list to get a percentage.  

The closer you get to 100 the more you know about the power of your why. If after a week or so you aren’t trending towards improvement you will know you have to do more work on your why factor. 

Mark Collins