The Power of WHY

By Cindy Norcott

I am reading Simon Sinek’s best-selling book, “Start with Why” which essentially is a great reminder that successful companies and movements are not motivated by what they do but more importantly by why they do it. When people know WHY they are doing what they do, they will find the WHAT and the HOW. Having a deep sense of purpose gives everyone something to hang on to, it creates the fuel for movements and it engenders great loyalty.

Yesterday, I experienced the power of WHY in action. I went to City Hill’s Turning Point outreach at Addington beach where we fed the homeless. The leader, Ashley, got all the eager volunteers into a circle and told everyone HOW the day was going to go, HOW she wanted us to treat our guests and WHAT we would be doing. It was impressed upon us that we needed to be kind and gracious to our guests and treat them with dignity and respect, which is something they don’t experience often, in the dire circumstances that they find themselves in. We were asked to be gentle, warm, friendly and courteous. Ashley then went on to explain that WHAT we were doing (feeding people) was not as important as WHY. We were all there to show these people the love of God and that was WHY we were doing what we were doing. Having this WHY in our minds created a clear united vision for all our volunteers and it made everyone clear on our mission.

I think every leader first and foremost needs to make sure that their team knows why they are there even before the what and the how are clear. Everyone needs something bigger to live up to!