Why Do You Do What You Do?

Do you know why you do what you do? Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start with Why’ says, “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

How many times have you been asked that question? Most people ask what do you do, but not many ask why do you do it. Do you know why you do what you do? Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start with Why’ says, “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”


Sinik’s concept is not new. Abraham Maslow presented his hierarchy of needs model in 1943, and revised it in 1954 to expand upon the level of basic needs people must achieve before they are able to progress to their highest level of self-actualization. The basis of Maslow’s expanded model suggests that people cannot achieve their fullest potential until they have achieved basic physiological needs (food, water, shelter), safety needs (job security), belonging needs (being part of a group at work), esteem needs (job responsibility or competence), cognitive needs (understanding and knowledge, aka WHY), and aesthetic needs (work/life balance).


When employees understand WHY a company does what they do, having that understanding enables the employees to connect to the company on a more personal level. This personal connection can be even more developed when the employee understands WHY their job is so important to what the company does. When employees have a personal connection to their work, they are, as Sinek suggests, willing to devote their blood, sweat and tears to the cause. This is a sign of an engaged workforce. Developing an engaged workforce requires more than providing employees with the WHY, but it sure it a great place to start. Why do you do what you do? Maybe it’s time to share the answer with your team.


To learn more about Simon Sinek, check out http://www.startwithwhy.com/Read.aspx.


Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper and Row.


About the Author:

Darlene Fenn is a Southern California HR consultant with over 20 years of experience in HR and the development methods a business needs to minimize risk and achieve Company Optimization through Human Resources.  You can find out more information on Darlene at www.cohrconsulting.com.





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