Remember Your Why

With two males at home—one an adult and the other a teenager—I find myself often saying "What is your ultimate purpose here?" It's my way to get them to think beyond the moment's testosterone high and to realize (hopefully) that their current actions won't bring the results they want.

On days I'm feeling exceptionally tired and self-doubting, I ask myself a similar question to remind myself why I am juggling all that I am. It helps me keep going.

I remember once reading that you should track what you want to encourage. The same goes with spending time on what you really want—your why. So if you say something is important and you aren't spending time on that thing, then you're fooling yourself. For example, I keep saying sleep is important and every week, when I collapse Friday night, promise myself I'll do better going forward. This resolution has lasted at best until mid week, so since actions speak louder than words, I obviously consider the other things keeping me up at night more important. 

Same goes in business. Regardless of what companies stress, it's what they spend their time on and expect their staff to spend their time on that truly indicates what they value—and what will define their culture.

I reread Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson this weekend. This was my third time reading it (since I'll be using this book for the YourMBR alpha), and I still learned new things. If you have not read this book, regardless of who you are or where in your career you are, I recommend you do so at your earliest opportunity. It's that good and has that much to offer.

Although not the only thing that made an impact in rereading the book, the one related to this topic was their chapter on culture. They explain that culture "is a byproduct of consistent behavior." So the things you reward and focus on are the things your culture are really about. If you say customer happiness is important but instead of fixing problems, spend all your time on long-term forecasts (which they call guesswork and I agree), then you will not have happy customers or a customer-oriented culture.

So what are you spending your time on? And is this aligned with your why?


Karina is VP of Operations and HR at 24/7 Teach.

Originally posted on Business Common Sense blog.

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