“Why” is such an important concept. It is the basis of both learning AND motivation. This post will focus on the importance of the motivation side of why.
Do you love what you do? If not, why not? Can you think of a time when you did love what you did – whether it was something personal or professional? Did it take a long time to learn it and perfect your skills? How did you feel when you did it? How did it benefit you or others? Understanding why we do what we do is a critical aspect of successful performance. We are motivated by those things that are important to us. The things that are important to us – that we are interested in – are why we want to get up in the morning.
If something is important to us, even if it is very difficult, we generally enjoy doing it and get energy from it. If we can spend our time working hard and being energized at the same time, we can and do accomplish a great deal.
In his best-selling book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins advocates getting the right people on the “bus” (your business) and further, getting the right people in the right seats of the bus. There are many reasons this is important, not the least of which is ensuring that you have the right knowledge and technical skill in each role. In addition, each person having the right attitude is important. A staff filled with people who not only have the right skills, but the right attitude is priceless. An integral part of having the right attitude is for each person to WANT to do their job.
For example, someone who does not value aesthetics, harmony and balance, is not going to love interior design; someone who hates details and numbers is not going to love accounting; someone who is very introverted and dislikes interacting with strangers is not the best fit for sales; and someone who is highly social and active, is not likely to thrive tied to a desk with no interaction with people.
It is possible to actually measure what we value and to use that knowledge to motivate ourselves and others. For more on this, see our information about the Values Index.
Our next post will be about using WHY to learn and grow.