Do you feel like you are the only one who cares about your business? In this trying period, it is easy for leaders to feel isolated. Everyone on the team needs to dig in to get the business through this pandemic. But how do you inspire that kind of action in your team?
For those of you who might not know, I run an events company. The cancellations started in February, and got progressively worse. By March, I did not have a single event lined up for the rest of the year. It is scary to think about having zero revenue for the next few months. Thankfully, at that moment, my team started coming up to me with ideas. This is incredibly heartwarming. I can know for sure that my team cares about this company as much as I do. I am very confident that Simon Sinek’s book — Start with Why — has significant influence.
Simon Sinek challenges everyone to start with why. In this book, he talks about the importance of the core. That is the reason why people and companies do what they do. We live in a time where we are bombarded with products and services everywhere we look. You can’t scroll through Instagram without someone trying to sell you their latest product. What made you choose one product over the other? More often than not, it is down to why the product exists in the first place. When you create a product to push sales, you will always struggle. This is because your North Star will always guide you to make dumb, shortcut decisions. If you develop the product to help make people’s life easier truly, your product will speak to them. It will be impactful and unforgettable.
When you understand your purpose, everything is easier to communicate. Your product will not just speak to people, but your team as well. Think about it. If you do not have a strong purpose for starting your company, you will not have a mission and vision for it. Your goal will change daily, depending on the situation. If you can’t even be sure of the direction you want to head in, you cannot expect anything from your team.
My favourite quote from the book is this. “Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.” Take a step back today and look at each person on your team. I am sure you hired them because they impressed you at their interview. You saw a drive in them. Have you given them a direction to drive towards? If you do not start with why, you will not have a clear direction for them. In this case, you can’t blame your team for not taking action.
When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. But when you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you. By finding your purpose, your guiding principle will always lie within you. You don’t have to get distracted with what everyone else is doing. When you have that kind of focus, your team will respond accordingly. After all, they need to know you before they can help! This is how you inspire action in your team.