“What is your Why?
Your "Why?" is of an intrinsic nature. It is not anything you can manufacture, purchase, borrow, or steal. But if you're not honest, it is something that you can trade. Your "Why?" comes from deep within your soul. It is the heartbeat of your rising in the morning, and your laying down at night time.
Your "Why? supercedes your "What?". It supercedes your "Do!" It is wrapped up in your "Who?" Which is "you"! Your "Why?" and your "Who?" work simultaneously to produce your "What?". If your "Who?" is out of balance, your "Why?" is misappropriated! Let me give you an example using employee motivation? Then I'll come back later on, to un-pack this theory, and synthesize it with your personal "Why?"
One of the most widely used explanations of employee motivation is proposed by Victor Vroom. It is called the Expectancy Theory. It simply states that there is a degree of attractiveness of an expected outcome that appeals to, and motivates an employee to behave in a certain way to achieve those outcomes. There are 3 relationships or variables to consider:
a.) When a given amount of effort is exerted, a person believes that this will lead to a certain amount of performance.
b.) When a person believes that he/she performs at a high level, he/she can expect to attain a desired outcome.
c.) When a person asks him/herself how hard must I work to achieve a certain level of performance, and how plausible is this achievement?
Characteristically, this theory purports that employees do look at perceived outcomes, such as pay, benefits, bonuses, work-community relationships, job security, etc. In addition, the employee weighs the value of each perceived outcome. They may see the positives, negatives, or the degree of value placed on each one. In other words, based on their personal needs, personality, and goals, they are looking at how attractive these perceived outcomes are to them. Moreover, they assess within themselves what must they do, how hard they must work, how must they behave in order to achieve these rewards. Without knowing this off the top, the rewards may not necessarily appeal to them, that is to say, if they are out of reach.
To get this theory, it is important to look at the individual goals and values, as well as the relationship between effort, performance (self-actualization), and organizational rewards. In other words, “What’s the payoff for my hard work?” There is a synthesis between what the company offers, and how attractive and/or beneficial they are to the individual, and if one works hard or smart, are those benefits attainable?
In a recent Forbes.com article, a 37-year entrepreneur, who has been in business for 7 years shared 37 ways to keep an employee motivated to work for his business. Below are the top 5 (from his perspective) must do's for those in leadership position to consider in keeping their team members engaged, working, happy, and inspired:
- Support new ideas. When employees come to you with an idea or a solution to a problem they believe is for the betterment of the company, it’s a sign that they care. Supporting new ideas and giving an individual the chance to ‘run with it’ is motivating, whether or not it works out in the end.
- Empower each individual. Every single individual contributes to the bottom line. Empowering them to excel in their role, no matter how large or small, creates a sense of ownership that will lead to meeting and exceeding expectations.
- Don’t let them become bored. I get bored easily, so I assume my employees also have a short attention span. Host a cupcake bake-off, plan a happy hour, start a push-up contest in the middle of the office on a Wednesday, or allow a different person to run the weekly meetings to break up the monotony.
- Celebrate personal milestones. About seven years ago, as a company of fewer than 10 people, we celebrated each employee’s birthday, work anniversary, engagement, and even personal milestones. Today, as a company of over 100, we still celebrate these milestones. It never gets old.
- Acknowledge professional achievement. Everyone wants to be recognized..."
Take a day or two to let this marinate in your spirit. Jot down questions, responses, contradictions, or anything you may like to add to the conversation. See you shortly
Whether you are coming back to the site, or you've decided to continue on, I will do my best to simply put all the pieces together about the importance of your "Why?"
According to the theory above, if you put out a certain amount of effort, you will most likely believe that your effort will lead to a degree of high performance, which in that case, you will more than likely expect a desired outcome, and the attractiveness of that perceived outcome will motivate you to consistently perform high. So, the motivation becomes the perceived expected outcome. Whoa! Now, if you were to take this same example and honestly assess your perceived expected outcome for your life, your job, your family, other relationships, spiritually, your purpose, etc., what would your answer be? Whatever your answer is, in many cases will be your "Why?"
What is your "Why?" If you are satisfied with your answer, then God bless you on living out your truth. However, if you need to re-evaluate your "Why?" and explore deeply within your heart a more soul-satisfying meaning to what motivates you, then listed below are a few suggestions that may be able to help you access the pulse of your purpose.
You will need something to write with and a pad of paper:
1. Find a quiet time and place, free of distractions, to unwind and relax your mind. Deep breathing always helps me.
2. Ask yourself, "How would the world be different once your earthly life has come to an end?" Write down your first initial response.
3. Ask yourself, "What legacy am I leaving for those I love?" Jot down your answer.
4. Think about at least one area in your life you would like to make positive changes. Record your answer(s).
5. Write an affirmation statement that includes the answer(s) to number 4 question. For example: Say your answer was patience. Your affirmation may read, "I am becoming more patient with myself and others so that I can improve my personal and professional relationships by treating people with respect."
By writing a statement of affirmation, you engage your intention. Once you engage your intention, you begin to set a new precedence for your thoughts and behavior. This exercise can be done with any number of areas in your life.
To put this in perspective of your "Why?", let's say that your intention to become more patient is realized by the improvement of your personal and professional relationships. You then begin to foster a different ideal for yourself. Moving forward...if developing more patience leads to an awareness to human suffering (for example), then you have already began seeing the needs of others through a different set of lens that are shaped by improved core values. If you are obedient to this awareness, then you will become more intentional about making deposits as opposed to withdrawals in the lives of the people in your circles of influence.
Your "Why?" is your motivation, your drive, you pulse, your alarm clock, your impetus for putting forth the effort to perform high, because the expected outcome is the payoff when someone's life is changed or improved because of your influence and impact. You must seek to live for a purpose greater than yourself.
6. Write down any associated thoughts to this exercise, as well as any take aways you'd like to remember.
I hope this has been a helpful exercise for you. I would love to read your comments. Please share them with us so that we can grow together.
Be sure to Make this your BEST day ever!
***These statements are thoughts from my own personal/professional experience and growth journey. Please use proper citation protocol if you wish to share. Thank you for visiting!