The importance of your Why

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We often talk about the pitfalls that advisers fall into in the financial services industry, using language that no-one understands, and this often alienates them from the very people they are trying to engage with.

The other massive mistake financial service people often make is to rush into product selling and make those products the centre of their proposition, rather than their clients.

At Lifetime we put our loyal clients at the very centre of all that we do.

If you haven’t already read it, we would encourage you to get hold of a copy of Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’ book.

The book looks at the difference between ‘What’ we do, ‘How’ we do it, and ‘Why’ we do what we do.

Sinek’s basic idea is that most people and companies can tell you what they do, and most can say how they do it, but to understand and to articulate why we do what we do is far more difficult.

If you accept that people work to pay their bills at a basic level, then the thing that differentiates the really successful (not just financially but in all areas of being satisfied with our lot) from the also rans is an understanding and a commitment to having a why that can make a difference to other people – one that you can believe in and so can your clients.

There’s a lot in this and we would heartily recommend reading Sinek’s views.

He may be best known for popularising the concept of WHY in his first TED Talk in 2009 (https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action/transcript?language=en). It is an excellent, thought-provoking talk, well worth the watch!

It rose to become one of the most watched TED talks of all time, with over 43 million views and subtitled in 48 languages.

His interview on Millennials in the workplace ‘broke the internet’ in 2016 and garnered over 200 million views in the first month. This led to Simon being YouTube’s fifth most searched term in 2017.

His website (https://simonsinek.com/) states: “A trained ethnographer, Simon is fascinated by the people and organisations that make the greatest, lasting impact in their organisations and in the world. Over the years, he has discovered some remarkable patterns about how they think, act and communicate and the environments in which people operate at their natural best. He has devoted his life to sharing his thinking in order to help other leaders and organisations inspire action.

“His unconventional and innovative views on business and leadership have attracted international attention. From American Airlines to Disney and MARS, from big business to entrepreneurs to police forces, Simon has been invited to meet with an array of leaders and organisations in nearly every industry. He has also had the honour of sharing his ideas at the United Nations, the United States Congress and with the senior-most leaders of the United States Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Coast Guard.”

Sinek looks at the Apple organisation as a great example of a company, especially under Steve Jobs, that was able to connect to their clients because their ‘Why’ was clear and made them stand out from their competitors.

Lots of companies sold computers when Apple came to the market, all of them concentrated their marketing on the “what” and the “how”, the technology and capabilities. Apple, on the other hand, talked of giving people the capacity to change their lives, to THINK DIFFERENT.

They took it as read that they were selling capable pieces of technology, the difference was they had a mission to help people take more control of their lives and to help them harness their imagination and they were able to communicate this understanding. It worked spectacularly.

When we look across all aspects of our lives we can find clear examples of individuals and of companies or services that either do or do not have a clear grasp of why they are doing what they do. It is clear when you walk into a shop from the type of service you receive whether or not the assistant is there to help you to purchase what you need or if they couldn’t be bothered and are really only interested in a sale.

We all know nurses and teachers, bus drivers and police, journalists and sportsmen and women, taxi drivers and shopkeepers, our own boss and the people we work with, people who have a greater purpose in life and are going the extra mile.

These are the people who understand their why.

Here at Lifetime we also understand ‘why we do what we do’.

We help our clients live the life they want to live without ever running out of money, striving to make a difference to every client we come across, and putting THEM at the centre of our plans and not the PRODUCTS.

• Simon Sinek’s latest book is ‘The Inifinite Game’ (https://simonsinek.com/product/the-infinite-game/), another cracking read!


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