A passionate team understands your "WHY"

"I would love to live in a villa, have three children, a dog and be head of a big company". So answered an interviewee last week when I asked him about his ambitions. I then asked him the key question: "WHY do you want those things?" It stayed quiet then for a long time.

I always find it intriguing when people around me say that they have a clear plan for the future. I have been busier with my journey of discovery. Who am I, what do I want, but most of all, what makes me happy: the "WHY". The "HOW" and the "WHAT" come much later. But can you actually describe these two if you don't yet know the "WHY"?

When we look at organisations we hear CEOs say what their vision and the related implementation plan is, while often nothing is said about the "WHY". If you understand the "WHY" than you are motivated as a team to realise your goals, so you can really reach out to your customer.

An elaborate vision without a clear "WHY" ("belief", the "conviction") is not strong enough for my ideas. An employee needs to feel it, so that they make a contribution by going to work every day with passion (and most of all pleasure). An example of this is the inspirational Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos): "Get the culture right and everything else falls into place." His vision is that Zappos is an organisation that has superb customer services and sells fashion by chance,. Tony believes in "delivering happiness". Zappos has 10 clear key values which, of course, other organisations have, but at Zappos they are really tangible. A separate customer service department does not exist but this service ethic pervades throughout the whole organisation. That's the kind of organisation that you would whole-heartedly like to work for.

Is it bad if you do not yet know what your dreams are (vision)? Focus yourself on the "WHY" you determined things or not. Then, through your journey of discovery, your vision will emerge as a matter of course.