Last year I read a book by Simon Sinek called Start With Why. He asked an interesting question: how come Apple is so innovative, even though its just a computer company and has the same access to resources as other computer companies, yet continues to innovate year after year? Why did Martin Luther King lead the civil rights movement? He wasn’t the only one who suffered from segregation and there were also other great orators of his day, so why him? Or what about the Wright brothers and the discovery of flight… how come they were able to discover flight before highly funded, government-backed programs?
Simon Sinek articulates the fact that all the great leaders and inspiring people throughout history have all communicated the exact same way…
Most organizations / people knows what they do and how they do it. But far less people know why they do what they do. This is not to make money … that’s a result. The why has to do with purpose, meaning, and beliefs. Most people have no idea why they do what they do.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. That’s why people buy computers from Apple instead of Dell. Apple isn’t a ‘company that creates computers,’ its a company that ‘seeks to change culture by thinking differently,’ that just happens to make computers as a part of that. The order has changed … Apple starts with why.
Orville and Wilbur Wright were driven by a cause and a belief…they believed if they invented flight, it would change the world. Others working on discovering flight simply wanted a paycheck. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
I guess I just wanted to ask a question to anyone reading this blog this morning: what’s your why? What are the purposes and beliefs that drive what you do and how you do it?
I’m a pastor. I do what I do because I believe that the message of Jesus Christ and the community of the church is the hope for the world, that God has created a way for people to receive forgiveness of sins through Cross of Jesus and that not only gives us hope for life after death but the hope of life before death. I do what I do because I believe that the message of Jesus is the cure for the world. That’s my why.
How I do that could change. I don’t have to be on paid staff at a church. What I do in order to accomplish that will probably change to. The how and the what are not my starting points. My starting point is the why. People don’t buy what you do or how you do it. They buy the why.
What’s your why?