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Discovering the Why Factor

Alan Andersen

I would like you to think for a moment like a great company.


We teach companies that their why (which we call purpose) must be discovered vs. made up.

Your challenge is to discover what lies deep within you, correctly name it and then lead with it – this is your why. While the what is strategized and created, the why must be discovered and brought forth – in other words, it is already in there, so go get it.

When True Life Coaching (now Shandel Group) celebrated ten years in business, we were proud to say that our why had not changed from day one. In contrast, our growth requires the what and the how to continuously evolve. Things never stay the same around here … except our why.

Currently on our roster are two companies in the fifth generation of ownership. Both are in the middle of a huge change of the what and how. What keeps them grounded is their unchanging why, which allows for agility as markets change and business models morph. It is super fun to watch new leadership continue their great-grandfathers’ legacy.

At the same time, we are helping two start-ups who are growing spooky fast.

Company A is choosing to invest in the painstaking process of discovering their big why, defining their culture and strategy while differentiating themselves from the competition. The result is they are on track to make nearly two times their projections, and doing it with fewer people, all who love their work!

Company B start-up unfortunately is still in the weeds. The leader is unwilling to take a moment to invest in the why, believing he can lead with his personality alone. The result is a bottom-line accomplishment of the what with a high emotional drain to other team players, not to mention the lost opportunities.

As a leader – whether of a company, a family or life – can you articulate what you are uniquely good at and why you are so excited about living your life? On that foundation, can you strengthen your what and how until you are not just good, but great?

Why does it matter? Why do you matter?

You matter because you have something distinctive and special to contribute to this world before you leave it. That’s why.


Your Coach,

This article was previously featured on True Life Coaching.