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Where Are You Coming From?

(October 2012) posted on Wed Oct 17, 2012

This discussion evaluates the power of why in your business.

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By Mark A. Coudray

5. To make sense of a complex situation. Similar to creating clarity, this why is about sorting out and clarifying what is happening on many different levels. It is about understanding multiple perspectives and how they relate to each other and to the perspectives of others. This is a common trait of good negotiators or salesmen.

6. To create relationships based on trust. These are professional, client-based relationships. This is where most of us aspire to have our businesses represented. Here, customers become clients, putting their trust and loyalty into our professional guidance.

7. To help others to contribute to a greater good or cause. This is largely focused on community and nonprofits, but it doesn’t have to be. This is about seeking and finding new, innovative, and unique solutions to problems facing those in a given area.

8. To seek knowledge and understanding. This is a big one and the subject of several columns I’ve already written. We live in a world driven by the exponential expansion of data and information. How we assemble these data and information represents knowledge. The challenge is to discover new knowledge and integrate it into our lives to make our life better and to grow our business.

9. To challenge the status quo. This is what drives Apple. It started with the famous 1984 Macintosh commercial that changed the way we think about computers—but only ran one time. Upon Jobs’ return in 1997, the Think Different campaign challenged the way innovators see the world. These are the disruptors. These are the rebels who do not want to conform to someone else’s rules or ideas. The analog world was largely mass conformity. The digital economy is about the individual and mass customization.

Think about your own business or job. Why do you do what you do? It really isn’t about the paycheck or the profit. Those are a means to an end. What really gives you satisfaction in what you do? Why do you strive to do what you do? You can ask this of yourself and the business.

When you ask these questions, you start to focus in on the big why that underlies your ultimate purpose. These are the things that matter and they are the things that do not change. Most often the why of the business is also the why of the owner or leader.


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