My curiosity as a child must have been a challenge for my parents when I would often ask questions that began with …
"I wonder why …
… the sky is blue?"
… my eyes are green?"
… the summer goes fast and winter seems long?"
… my older brothers get to stay up later than I do?!"
When I first heard the TED Talk by Simon Sinek on the importance of starting with "why," I realized that there was clearly another way to look at wondering why. Sinek, who is described as a “visionary with a rare intellect” in his website biography, believes that it is possible for people to be inspired and inspire others at work and in life. In his best-selling book, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, he suggests that understanding and communicating why we do something is more important that what we do or how we do it.
In this context, wondering why is about finding your purpose. And there is ample evidence that a shared purpose is essential for individual and organizational success. In addition to shared purpose, shared or collective leadership is what we believe to be necessary for creating workplaces where people feel valued, fulfilled, and inspired.
If you or your colleagues find yourselves having less and less enthusiasm for your work and/or workplace, it might be time to re-examine your “why” and see if it is aligned with what you’re actually doing. In our experience, there can be a disconnect between what we believe and how we translate that into our behaviors.
Once you define the current reality, you have an opportunity to redefine your organization’s leadership to one where everyone is a leader with the potential to inspire others. Wondering why becomes the wonder or excitement of your why and the positive impact you and your organization can have on the world.
Learn more about The Mindset Required for Gifted Leadership.