Average companies give their people something to work on.
In contrast, the most innovative companies give their people something to work toward.
The expert in leadership and inspiring company culture Simon Sinek just hits the nail on the head. Easy concepts are often not that easy to explain. But these two sentences just speak for themselves. Mediocre companies give their people tasks to complete. Companies that inspire give their workers a vision to work toward, an idea they all share.
It’s as easy as “This is what our company is all about, this is what we are trying to accomplish, this is our vision for future. Do you share this idea? Are you in the boat?”
But this is not what companies usually do. Most times you hear something like “These are the tasks that you would be doing in your position, this is the salary you get, these are the working conditions. Are you interested in the job?”
If you love your job it’s probably because it gives you a sense of purpose. If you hate it most likely you lack purpose.
See what I mean by looking at this example: You see two people building a wall. You go and ask the first person: “What are you doing?” He tells you: “I am putting one brick on another brick, that’s my job.” You go to see the second person and ask the same. The answer is different. This person tells you “I am building a school.” There is no difference in what they do. The difference is in how they interpret what they do. One person sees no purpose in the task, the other does. This completely changes the game as the one person is likely to be motivated and highly committed to their work, while the second person isn’t.
What we are used to experience is simply getting a job. You roughly know what the company is about, what your tasks will be and what you get in exchange. Why the company actually exists and what the future vision and directions is – no idea. You come to work your hours and go back home. You work on something. You put one brick on another brick.
What we should experience and what smart companies do is different. You feel part of something bigger than yourself. You believe what others in the same boat believe and you all strive towards the same goal. How you do it and what you do is less important than the purpose, the why you do it. This creates a sense of belonging and a clear direction. You work toward something. You’re building a school.
As Sinek says: Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivated them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left.
I love asking companies whom they like to hire, and of the most common answers I am given is, “We hire only passionate people.” But how do you know if someone is passionate for interviewing, but not so passionate for working? The truth is, almost every person on the planet is passionate, we are just not passionate for the same things. Starting with WHY when hiring dramatically increases your ability to attract those who are passionate for what you believe. Simply hiring people with a solid resumé or great work ethic does not guarantee success. The goal is to hire those who are passionate for your WHY, your purpose, cause or belief, and who have the attitude that fits your culture. Once that is established, only then should their skill set and experience be evaluated.
The biggest reason you love or hate your working for your company is the lack of WHY, the lack of purpose.
There are millions of companies out there. Look for one that know its WHY and get into their boat.