Why is WHY so important?

(c) Ela Nowicka, model: Wojciech Drapella


For most co-founders it seems quite obvious what a company is meant to be doing, why it was created. They share a vision, a mission and the values of the organization. It’s often very clear to each one of them what should be done in the current year and even the next year. They understand WHY current tasks are carried out right now and WHY people on the Team are doing this and not something else.

This state of mind, this situation, often makes them blind to the fact that employees (people who have joined the company at its later stages) do not share the same knowledge. What are the results of this? It’s overall frustration- where leaders become bottle necks and micromanage, founders are getting tired and burned out, employees suffer from lack of personal development and due to inexistent empowerment. This is when the organization goes down. It’s a virus that spreads rapidly, yet at its early stages, also quietly. Quietly and rapidly enough to be unnoticed for so long that it’s hard to cure the disease.

Even if a company does not collapse from this burden, it’s a definite killer to the growth and development of individuals. As the Team loses the vision and the mid to long term goals, leaders become blockers which is frustrating and tiring too. There is one great exercise I often conduct on leadership workshops. It shows perfectly how the same message can be delivered in a very efficient way vs the totally opposite if ‘the WHY’ is conveyed badly. The same task, yet results are totally different. Not only the measured score of each Team varies from 9-10 vs 1-2 out of 10 being max, but the level of side-effects such as joy & fulfillment vs frustration are massive. Both Teams get the same task, yet the way it’s being delivered matters significantly.

If you are on the founder’s Team and your company is growing, make sure all your mid-managers and peers in the management Team actually FEEL the difference of great and badly delivered ‘WHY’. Without it, you’re risking a lot of your company’s success and your personal sanity.

What was the most memorable delivery of ‘the WHY’ (good or bad) made by your manager? What are the examples that are worth sharing with others? Share them in comments, pay it forward!

In today’s post I’d really like to give YOU the stage & voice. How can others learn from your experience?


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