It’s Monday morning, the dog has been walked, drop-offs are complete, and you savored your favorite choice of caffeine. You are now seated in your office, ready for what’s to come. Through this morning work routine, did the thought ever occur to you, “Why do I do what I do?,” “Why does my company exist?,” and, “How am I part of this great mission?”
For some, these questions are rarely asked, and when pondered, will typically occur during strategic planning sessions or annual goal-setting meetings. Regardless of when or if it is asked, the bigger question is what’s your answer?
What’s your why?
In Simon Sinek’s book, “Start With Why,” the concept of “Why, How, and What” is exposed as a powerful framework for thinking about what an organization does and who they are. It is valuable in developing a company’s purposeful brand focus, heightened client experience and aligned community reinvestment direction.
People and organizations understand what they do, and most people and organizations know how they do it, but few know why they do it. A why is not profit or to satisfy clients, this is called a result. Why, means what’s your purpose, what’s your cause, what’s your belief? Why does your organization exist, why do you get out of bed every morning, and why should others care?
For Apple, it’s to challenge the status quo and think differently. For Southwest Airlines, it’s to connect people with friendly, reliable, and low-cost airfare, and for Disney, it’s to make people happy.
As Simon Sinek also says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” The goal is not to do business with people who need what you have; the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
If you can’t answer the why, then what and how are irrelevant.
Thus, it’s important to know why you do what you do, and for both your employees and clients to know that as well. To gain new client relationships or deepen current relationships, sharing the company why and purpose is key to strengthening your brand. At TS Banking Group, our why is to develop long-term community prosperity.
Our company could have been a shoe shop or a bakery, but community banking, ag lending and prosperity planning is our vehicle to help impact the lives of others. We have the honor and privilege to help change the lives of others through this holistic approach.
The why is not a message you pull out when needed. It’s constant, and it’s evident in everything you do or say – whether creating an advertisement, speaking to internal team members, or discussing new location designs with vendors. The why becomes the filter through which all situations and decisions are viewed.
So the next time you are stopped in an elevator or at a ball game and you are asked, “What do you do?” Instead answer, “I would be happy to tell you, but first can I tell you why I do what I do?” Think of how many more great stories could be told, and more importantly the telling of your story, and the impact it may have on others. Invite them in; the engagement might surprise you!
At the end of the day, or better yet at the beginning of the day, if you can answer, “What’s our why?” this powerful statement will transform your company, your employees and your community.
Kelsey Stupfell joined TS Banking Group in 2007 and serves as the Director of Community Reinvestment. As part of the company’s community reinvestment efforts, Kelsey also oversees the TS Institute, the non-profit arm of TS Banking Group. TS Institute is committed to creating a stronger, more financially-savvy future generation through a K-12 financial literacy program. Kelsey is a Treynor native and a graduate of Simpson College with a BA in Corporate Communication. Her work experience includes nearly 10 years in banking (at TS Bank) with various roles including areas specific to community banking, human relations, and marketing. Kelsey is involved in her family farm business, music ministry at Harvest Community Church, a board member of Birthright Council Bluffs, and alumnae member of Leadership Council Bluffs. She and her husband, Perry, live on the east side of Council Bluffs on the family farm with their children, Eugene (5) and Evelyn (3) and newest member to arrive January 2018.