I watched a new department manager of projects introduce himself to a staff of 100 engineers. The one phrase that stuck in my mind was, “I am very results-oriented.” Now project engineers, including me, tend to be results-oriented anyway, so the remark passed without much thought. He was a very average manager who passed into corporate mediocrity with little fanfare 25 years ago. He was all about himself and results instead of listening to hearts to hear the “why.” He missed the real treasure in the people he was invited to lead.
Our personal and corporate lives are the same today. Very few people and organizations can articulate “why” they do what they do in a way that inspires anyone else to follow, join or buy. “Why” is deeply embedded in our heart or subconscious. When you touch the “why” at the heart level in a person or an organization, then people are moved. Expressions of the heart are compassion, nurture, creativity, intuition, spirituality, enthusiasm and initiative.
As depicted in the graphic below, what we do is the outer layer of our activity, how is just below the surface that explains how we think, and our why is embedded in our hearts – the real engine of our personal or organization life. The key is that people do not do what they are told or believe what they are taught. We all live out the script that is written on our hearts. It is manipulative for leaders to believe we can regulate behavior or impose our own ideology to change the thinking of others. Real leadership inspires hearts with “why” before it changes minds or asks for action. Corporate profits and religious obedience are not heart motives.
My Why is not your why; its disrespectful for me to assume that it is or should be. Remember this simple principle: people are changed in a naturally progression; 1) an experience of the heart, 2) a change of mind, attitude or beliefs, and 3) then we change our behavior, actions, and strategies. Change always starts with an experience in our hearts.
What – If we base our lives and communication around what we do, we tend to create a superficial image of ourselves in the eyes of others. Our focus is limited to results and behavior, which are logically governed by very uninspiring rules and procedures instilled in others with job training or condescending lectures. That track leads to unions and leaves the unmotivated followers with nothing more to focus on than how much they are paid for every hour of their lives lost in a meaningless job.
How – Educating people to think differently so they behave in a more enlightened manner is the bastion of intellectuals. We give degrees and certificates to those who endure this classroom approach to adopt our philosophy, policies, and standards. This mental approach to change attitudes is still focused on the teacher’s material – you can tell because teachers who believe that changing attitudes will change behavior have no capacity for listening and no concept that people have hearts which contain the roots behind the beliefs in our minds. Intellectualism is preachy, cold, proud and uninspiring.
Why – The real reason for our past, present, and future behavior and words is the why already embedded in our hearts or subconscious. We each carry our own clearly scripted (but hidden) heart logic that represents the why behind everything we say and do. Our explanations of what we do or how we think are simply camouflage for what is concealed in our hearts. When we express what is really in our hearts, it can resonate in the hearts of others – that’s what inspires action. Hearts must be inspired before minds can change. Great leaders always start with the “why” embedded in their hearts. Great organizations do the same. When we communicate at a heart level, our words carry a prophetic overtone that others can hear in their own hearts. Hitler used it for evil; Martin Luther King used it for good. They both spoke out of their hearts, captivated and motivated multitudes, not just to listen, but to change the world by their actions.
Why find your why? – When we discover the “why” in our own heart, we become connected with ourselves so that our actions, thoughts, and words are integrated with our hearts… no more saying one thing and doing another. It stops the self-sabotage and aligns our hearts, minds, and deeds in one courageous direction. Everyone else can see the difference; purpose inspires enthusiasm; a contagious enthusiasm. Our lives start working practically, emotionally and financially.
There is one more ingredient in discovering our why. God wrote it there in our hearts. We were each designed specifically for our why. When we discover our why, it will explain our life… our history, our talents, our personality, even our future… the puzzle pieces will come together in a mosaic of God’s handiwork.
At the first level, you will see personal growth, and your gifts will begin to function. At the second level, you will see the benefits for others in terms of social responsibility, ministry, even marketing. At the deepest level, you will begin to feel the heart of God himself. You will see his heart for you and share his heart for others. That’s Kingdom. You will see your role and the role of your organization in the context of a much bigger strategy of the Father to bless nations. It’s spiritual! It’s practical! And it’s fun! Kingdom purpose is the most satisfying and exciting “why” our hearts can carry.
The first phase is getting something you like. The next step is to share it with someone else for two reasons: 1) does it resonate, does it feel real, and 2) is it clear, does it communicate your intent. Expect to rewrite your “why” a number of times. Mine has been tweaked dozens of times!
You can download the powerpoint slides here.
My Business Why – It’s not entirely about you – it has the tone of what you can do for others. Your why should excite other people to help you or buy from you. Here are the primary questions to ask:
- Is it compelling for you, an inspiring story that you can easily tell?
- Does it attract, is there a handle that others can grasp?
- Does it invite others to help or join or buy?
- Value – Can those attracted tell how they would benefit from you?
- Clarity – Is it concise and precise?
Religious phrases like bringing the glory, advancing the Kingdom probably should be avoided (too general for us, and undefined for everyone else). Don’t let your message be too spiritual or you won’t make money at it. What’s the practical value you provide that anyone would buy?
Donald Miller calls his purpose statement a “one-liner” – it has a marketing flavor compared to Sinek,
- Miller – Most business leaders struggle to talk about what they do, so we’ve created a communication framework that helps people clarify their message. When you clarify your message, word starts to spread about your company, customers engage more, and your business grows.
- Sinek – To inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, we can change our world.
Observation – It’s important that your purpose statement reflects a prophetic quality that resonates in your heart and in God’s heart. When that excitement in your heart is present, coming up with goals and mind maps will be an exciting adventure for your heart. Without that prophetic clarity, it will be a mental exercise that will drain you. Give yourself time to find your purpose. it’s the motivation for everything else. You will go through lots of refinements getting there and it’s not easy… but it is very possible, and we will help you!
You’re Invited (to the dance) – We’ve developed two online courses to bring prophetic and practical clarity to your purpose, vocation, or business and a success path to seeking the Father in the courts of heaven and the council. It’s an experience with the Father and a relational tribe that works.
Stories from this tribe are here.
The Heart Plan – (www.OnlineHeartPlan.com) will help you fish your purpose out of the deep waters of your heart and get it in writing. Watch the free videos. You can take this class anytime or wait for the next round, and we’ll go through it again as a group with weekly zoom calls. The Heart Plan is based on the ideas in Releasing Kings.
Prov. 20:5 – The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.
Seers and Doers – (www.Seers-and-Doers.com) will help you navigate the courts and council of Heaven with your Father and the Spirit of Wisdom in a practical way. Start with Seers and Doers via Amazon.com.
Ps. 84:7 – They go from strength to strength, every one of them appears before God in Zion. NASU
Scaling up to a Wealth Mentality ($97) – is our newest self-help course. We think you’ll enjoy it. Great lead up to the Heart Plan.