The five-minute management idea: The power of your WHY

26 January 2018 -

To do our jobs well, we need to reconnect with our motivations for doing what we do. Here’s the latest in our weekly shot of new thinking for business leaders

MBOYGuest blogger Royston Guest

Think for a moment about WHY you do what you do?

Most people, when asked WHAT they do, can speak about it at length. They might have a quick answer, and when pressed, will give you tons of details about the logical, technical, and procedural aspects of their job or business. You are probably the same. We don’t have any difficulty at all with our WHAT.

But let me ask you something different:

WHY do you do it? What’s the purpose behind it? What made doing WHAT you do, so compelling that you had to do it?

The problem with answering those questions for many people is that either they aren’t sure, or they’ve completely lost touch with their reasons over the years.

In adulthood, we lose the idealism that drove us when we were younger; the illogical excitement of doing something just because we’re really excited by it. There’s good and bad in that, of course. Idealism isn’t the best platform upon which to make big decisions, in the real world. However, the spirit and passion that drove that idealism are very real and whether we admit it or not, it still forms part of our decision-making today.

We are moved by significance. When you’re able to answer not just WHAT you do, but elaborate the reasons WHY you do it, feel a rush of excitement, passion, and deep-rooted emotional connection as you speak about it, that’s one of the most compelling feelings of all.

This extract taken from Built to Grow: How to deliver accelerated, sustained and profitable business growth by Royston Guest, which is nominated for CMI’s Management Book of the Year 2017/2018. For more information see

Royston Guest is a global authority on growing businesses and unlocking people potential and CEO of Pti-Worldwide. For more info see:

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