Remember the WHY

As leaders, we are constantly communicating.  In fact, effective communication is one of the core competencies and responsibilities of every good leader.  Funny how often it is overlooked or taken for granted.

The only way a leader can truly win the hearts and minds of others is to help them understand not only the task at hand (the “what”) and the strategies to accomplish it (the “how”), but also the overarching purpose (the “why”).  The “why” is what gives meaning and motivation to the task.  It helps people see themselves in the story and have a sense of fulfillment about what they’re doing every day.

In a culture that focuses on execution (getting things done), you may be inclined to dive into a task without taking stock of the bigger picture. As urgent as the task or directive might be, step back and ask yourself if you have clearly explained the overarching purpose and benefit of it.  In other words, have you explained why it matters?  In a few short sentences, you can add important context and meaning that could make the difference between an average result and an exceptional one.