As Seen in Park Press: Replacing “What You Do” with “Why You Do It”
I recently had a late lunch with my good friend, George. Ten minutes late, I entered the restaurant feeling rushed, but also feeling energized after the phone conversation I had just ended.
Apologizing for my delay, I explained to George the call was with a business owner interested in engaging our firm to help transition the business to the fourth generation of ownership. Being the gracious guy that he is, George replied inquisitively asking how the conversation went. “Well, you know, George, this was the second conversation with her about who we are as a firm, what we do, and how we do it.”
I continued to share more with George. As I was doing this, I could feel myself swelling with pride. “We are a quirky group of individuals with a diversity of backgrounds and professional experience. But what makes us unique is that we all have an absolute passion for what we do. We do everything we can to facilitate the continuity of a business THROUGH the next generation of ownership and management,” I said wide eyed and smiling. “That sounds awesome,” George remarked and then continued with, “The passion I hear in your voice and see in you as you’re talking is powerful in a way that if I were someone in need of your firm’s services, makes me want to do business with you.” He then shared, “It would be important to me to know who you are, why you do what you do and how you work.” Nodding in agreement, “but?” I replied with a short laugh. Taking a deep breath, George said, “well, I would challenge your thoughts on ‘what you do’.” “Really?”, I blurted, “How so, George? I feel like I’m pretty thorough.” George responded, “No, no, I completely agree with you there! However, talking to me about what you do is exactly what you said, it’s a DESCRIPTION. In my opinion, you are conveying your passion when you talk about the WHY.”
A light bulb went off in my mind, “YES!” Why we do what we do is at the core of who we are. Our why is the belief that we are able to make a tremendously positive impact in the lives of our clients, their families, and all of the extended people reliant upon the continued success of their business. It’s why we do what we do that’s important to us, and as a result, is most important to people in need of our help.
I also realized that the why we do is where the passion rises up inside every one of us, regardless of what we do. When we allow ourselves to let that passion show, it becomes infectious. Passion also allows for more connectivity with the other person or people. It removes the barrier of others needing to know the “description” of what you do (or as I might say, the tactical execution). You have moved their focus from concern about “the what” to “the why.”
Dan Iosue is an Associate of The Rawls Group, a business succession planning firm. Dan specializes in dealing with the issues that must be resolved by business owners to implement succession strategies geared towards building business value. For additional information, visit www.rawlsgroup.com or call 407-578-4455
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