As I wrote last week, there was little white space on the calendar. More of the same next week and the week after.
This is a good week for me to reach out to one of my favorite people, he doesn’t know this, Dr. Ron Bonnstetter.
I met Dr. Ron at a TTI event several years ago. He knows a lot about the brain which is one of my favorite subjects. I could speak to him for hours on end.
In this week’s post, Dr. Ron ties together the Why of Simon Sinek, No Child Left Behind, and the neocortex.
What Makes Some Businesses Soar and Others Fail?
by Dr. Ron Bonnstetter, Senior VP of R&D at TTI Success Insights and
What makes some businesses soar and others fail? The usual answer is economic conditions, poor market analysis or under capitalized. But a strong business must start with a strong team. A team inspired by a common goal and a crystal clear purpose.
For several years now, Simon Sinek, consultant and author of Start with Why, has been explaining that our best employees do not work for a result but for a purpose.
Their focus is not on what the business does, but on why they are there and their role in promoting a belief, a vision. He believes that much of our marketing and hiring practices need to be inverted. For example, most employees can tell you “what” they do and even how they do it. But can they tell you “Why” they do their job? What is at the core of your business? What are the core values and beliefs that drive your organization?
If you are having difficulty seeing the application and implication in business, just look at educational reform for perspective. Since the implementation of No Child Left Behind, our national focus has been on the what (higher test scores) and the how (more rigor), and we have forgotten the richness that only comes when we promote the why of education. The why component includes beliefs in the love of learning, the sharing of a teachers’ passion for a subject and the joy of accomplishments driven by mutual and shared visions.
Now back to the business world. The best businesses understand the power of shared beliefs. When a team has a shared set of purposes, they go the extra mile, not for overtime, but for a cause and mission that is bigger than any one individual. This is devotion verses salary.
The neuroscience behind this concept is also solid. We know that our newest brain, the neocortex, offers humans rational and analytical thought. It also allows us to verbally communicate through language development. This brain region serves us well as we handle the many daily encounters with the What’s and the Hows’ of life.
But recent neuromarketing research suggests that up to 95 percent of our decisions are made at the subconscious level. In other words, not the neocortex, but our much older and deeper brain region called the limbic system. This complex set of brain structures controls emotions, behavior, motivation and long term memory. Oh, it also has no capacity to support language.
As a result, many of our behaviors, are driven by this paleomammalian brain. These driving beliefs are hard to verbalize, but they are driving the bus and helping us decide what is important.
In summary, if you promote a product, whether education or your business, by focusing on the what and how features, you will fail to capture the heart of your employees or your customers. Remember that the why behind our actions is the most powerful influence you have at your disposal. The next time someone ask you “What you do?” Start by passionately explaining “why” you care enough to do what you do.
I wonder why I wrote this?
Hello; The headline reminded me of one of my new favorite sayings. It is from nichee and it goes something like if a man has a big enough why he can tackle any how. And as i read this post I thought of something you hear a lot from the sports world. You hear all the time about how a team is successful because they have all bought into the plan or system of their coaching staff. so basically they come to believe in the why either because their coaches have a successful track record at other teams or because they see it working early on in the process. The belief in the approach leads to confidence determination perseverance and another sports expression leaving it all on the field. I know why i do what I do. selling amusement equipment helping people find new homes for surplus equipment and making a living doing it is my business passion. people can tell right away that it isn’t a what or a how but a gigantic why. thanks for the post and take care, max
Max, I always enjoy reading your comments.
I can tell you love what you do. Your “Why” is crystal clear.
How did you get into the business you’re in?
I work in customer service, and we also find this so important when connecting with customers. WHY.. are they really calling, beyond what they say they want… what’s the deeper need? Discovering the true why creates deeper connection.
Great question. Why are they really calling? This makes it more personal.
I know when I was in corporate America I probably wasn’t one of those that knew all the ins and outs either. I think for me if you feel appreciated then you want to do better and feel that you can really benefit the “team”.
As for what I do, I’ve always been passionate for helping people. I really fell into this accidentally when friends would come to me for advice. I guess I was a good listener and I had also learned something from my Dad. I would never tell anyone what to do but give them several options to chose from that I felt fit their situation. People don’t like being told what to do but they appreciate making their own choices.
As far as my blogging goes, I love helping people through what I’ve learned and applied and of course proven that it works. I think so many people feel like they’ve been lied to or others don’t have time for them so I make them feel comfortable. I do believe that if you truly want something bad enough and are willing to do the work then you will. Sometimes you just need that pat on the shoulder or that “way to go” pep talk. I love being that person. 😉
Adrienne, I think you’re Why is well thought out.
I appreciate your posts.