Answer The Question Why

Do you remember that game you played as a kid, where you tried to be annoying to your friends or parents by continuing to ask the question why?

Parent - We're going to see your grandparents.
Child - Why?
P - We haven't seen them in a while.
C - Why?
P - Because we've had something every weekend the last month.
C - Why?
P - Because that is when things are scheduled.
C - Why?
P - Just go get your shoes on and get in the car.

I'm not advocating being annoying, but we don't ask and answer the why question enough. Who, what, where, when and how are also important but there is something interesting about the question why.

Go through your day, do you actually know why you do some of the things you do? You have your job to make money, pay the bills. But why do you work where you do and do what you do for a living? Do you know why some tasks are done, or do you just do them because you've always done them?

As leaders, we need to not be afraid to ask why. We also need to lead the way of answering why before people even think to ask it. Getting people to just do what they are told is a good way of developing people to look for the minimum they have to do to "pass". To know why they are doing the things they are. To know how those activities support a higher level goal or vision, which is the ultimate why for your organization. Once we understand the why we can look past our daily routines and find new ways of adding value by achieving the why, not by being focused on the task.

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