WHO will get us the future
Posted on 19th December 2022 at 08:44
Why do we stop at WHY?
One of the most common response I get to, why do you do what you do, is:
“My kids. I do it for my kids.”
You’ll see it time and time again. My why is my kids.
When I ask why that matters I tend to get blank stares for a few minutes. Then…
“I want them to be happy.”
“I want them to feel safe.”
“I want to spend time with them.”
“I want to be able to enjoy shaping them.”
These are all nice. I’ve certainly felt them at times (mine are now teenagers, so it’s very much a time of extreme highs and lows…), but they don’t tell the whole story.
What they’re missing is context.
Without this context we don’t understand why they matter. Why they’re important.
And if we keep asking more why’s we just end up going round in circles.
Don’t get me wrong, ‘why’ is incredibly powerful and useful to understand. But in the same way that ‘what’ is even more powerful and useful when combined with ‘how’, we need to ask a different question, a complimentary question:
Who are you?
Why’s become much more powerful when you start to understand who you are.
Because that’s where the context is. The paradoxes. The nuances.
As my good friend Junior would say, why is linear. Why THIS, because of THAT. Why THAT, because of THIS. Repeat.
Who is complex. And who is everywhere.
There are who’s in your team. Your wider organisation. Your customers and clients. Your vendors and partners. Your competitors. Collaborators. Those who inspire you. Those who frustrate you.
The only way to know if you are working in the right place is to understand why you are there AND who you are. Together.
This is why recruitment is struggling at the moment.
Yes, many organisations are celebrating their why as a way to attract, but they don’t understand who they want to attract, nor who they already have.
So people struggle to get involved, to commit, to belong.
It’s time to address who you are and who you want to be around.
Why got us here.
Who will get us the future.
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