What Is Your Why?
One of my favorite movie quotes of all time comes from Uncle Ben to a young impressionable Peter Parker (Spiderman) “With great power comes great responsibility”. It resonates with me because we all have something that can help make the world a little better. A special skill or certain knowledge, to Uncle Ben that was power, however, most of the time we don’t share that with others. I believe that when we realize our gift and how that can help others, we then have a responsibility to help improve the world around us. And when we begin to do this, the return in our own lives is staggering.
Obviously as an arborist you are not catching bad guys and throwing them in prison, or taking drugs off the street or saving the world from a tragic ending, but you are helping the world improve. In fact another one of my favorite quotes is from Jim Skiera, former ISA Executive Director, “make the world a better place one tree at a time”. I know your company does that every day in various ways. Whether that is by proper pruning or chemical applications or through consulting with your customers on their trees, your team is making improvements in the landscape, but do they know why? For me, our insurance agency has the ability to help save lives, prevent injuries and protect businesses from financial hardship. Our why is simply to make sure we do whatever we can to ensure each employee gets home safe every night and has a job waiting for them to come back to the next day.
So what is your why? Why do you do what you do?
If you haven’t defined the why for yourself, use the questions below to jumpstart your thought process. Begin thinking about your personal life, then answer each question from your organization’s viewpoint. Lastly, challenge your team to find their own personal whys and how they fit into the company’s purpose.
What gets you excited to wake up in the morning?
What are your innate strengths?
Where can you add the greatest value?
How do you measure success in your life?
Unfortunately, the why so often gets lost in the how. How are we going to grow our business? How are we going to get all of the work done? How will I find my next great employee? If you are able to focus on the why, the answers about the how come along naturally.
You will attract better employees and customers, people that believe in the same values that you and your company believe in. It will elevate all aspects of your organization and set you apart from your competition. You will see greater results and subsequently you will be much more fulfilled along the way.
Just like Uncle Ben said, you, as the owner, have the power and responsibility to lead your business to great things, positively influencing many people along the way.
Written by: Eric Petersen