America’s Leadership Expert : Important Advice

Clay Staires: This is Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership and podcast number 57, the Staires Steps to Freedom. Step one, the why. America’s Leadership Expert In so many times as I am speaking with business leaders, as Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership, I find myself in a conversation early on with talking to these business owners about why they are in business. What is their purpose? Why did they start their company? Many times people have a vague idea, but unfortunately very few are able to actually clearly communicate what their purpose is, what their why is, what the reason behind starting their company. This is a very important piece in every business that we start. As Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, I find that this is a very rewarding time for me, phase for me, as I work with business owners, helping them understand why they exist, why their business exists.

Without this perspective, without this context, can make it very difficult to work through struggle and difficulty that are surely going to be coming their way. As Clay Stairs Tulsa Business Leadership, I usually find business owners that are in the process of struggle, in the process of pressure, and they are losing hope. They are losing sight. America’s Leadership Expert They are losing momentum. They’ve become frustrated with their company. Their company has become a heavy weight on their shoulders, and they are actually beginning to ask themselves this question, why am I doing this? The answer that they continue to come up with is, well, I’ve got to have a paycheck. I’ve got to keep going. I’ve got to keep going. Their option is if I don’t do this, I’m going to have to go back and get a job. That just isn’t an option, so they’re trapped between this place of I’ve got to go to work to make a paycheck, and this is my only option, because the only other decision to make is to quit and go back and get a job.

They have these two different perceptions, these two different sides of the pendulum, and they lose context as to why they are starting their business, why they are running their business on a daily basis. Again, this is a very fulfilling time for me, as a coach, to come in and help a business owner reconnect and reengage with their purpose, their reason, their why of starting their company. Many times we will start with an exercise that we’ve talked about here on podcasts, on earlier podcasts. It’s just going through the exercise of the five whys. Some people say the four whys, but you can go five as well. This is something you can easily find out more about by Googling the five whys. America’s Leadership Expert This just to help you to get down to the core of what your motivation is and why you are doing a certain activity.

This is something we do with our business owners as Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, spending time with them, engaging, connecting with their why. I remember several years ago hearing a TED Talk by Simon Sinek, where he talks about start with the why. I think he even wrote a book about that. It was a fascinating book that really captured me at the time. Also, the fact that he used concentric circles, which is something that I do quite a bit, but the importance of starting with the inner circle, which is the why. It’s the context. It’s the reason. It’s the muse. It’s the dream that we have. So often we will get caught. Later on we’ll be talking about this as step number four in the Staires Steps to Freedom, but so many business leaders get caught or trapped in the what, because the what is very important.

Without the what you will not be successful, so we do have to focus on the what at some point, but unfortunately what happens so often is that when we get caught in the what, and we get caught in the weeds, and when we get caught as business owners in the daily activity, if we don’t have our why up on the wall, if we don’t have the why constantly in front of us to be our compass, then it can be so easily for us to get trapped in the daily storms and the very cloudy weather and stormy weather of the what on a daily basis. If you haven’t taken the time as a business owner, I just want to take a moment, as Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, to encourage you to take time. Block out an hour or two to begin to define your why. Define your purpose Why does your business exist? If you’re not a business owner, but a leader in a business or a manager in a business, America’s Leadership Expert I want to encourage you to discover why does your company exist?

Yes. These are the vision statement. It’s the mission statement. It’s your core values. Have those been identified for your company? If not, we need to do that. If not, you need to take time to identify, so that you will have context as you move forward with your company. The way that we do this, identifying the why, is simply taking time to identify the areas with which we are passionate about, finding out, again, the deeper reasons why we have started our company. Again, this is something that so many business owners, after getting caught in the midst of the what, getting caught in the daily work, we just lose sight. We lose our compass in the midst of the daily pressure, in the midst of the daily activity that can seem overwhelming, so many details.

As Clay Staires Tulsa Business Leadership, this is something we do with leaders, business owners across the country is helping them identify what those details are, how best to identify them, how best to systemize those details, so we can remain focused on the why. I want to encourage you, once again, if you don’t have the answer to your why, that you take time to identify this. Take time away. Get away from the office. Go on a weekend retreat. Spend time in a hotel. Spend time outside. Wherever you go, maybe even your back porch, but wherever you go to get inspiration, to get vision, to spend time identifying what is your why in your company. Again, if you are not a business owner, but a leader or manager in the company, for you to spend time discovering, from the owner if you can, if not, from as high up as you can go in the company, what is our reason? America’s Leadership Expert Why are we here?

A good exercise that I’ve done many times with companies is without allowing anyone to talk with one another each separately writing down their interpretation or what they think the why of the company is. Write down the vision. Write down the mission. The vision is the future that you want to create. The mission is simply the vehicle, what you were going to do, the activity that you will be involved in to bring about that future. Then your core values. What are the one, two, three, four, or five, probably no more than five, what are the core values, the principles, the guiding principles that are going to direct your company, direct your decisions, America’s Leadership Expert direct your leadership as you move forward? Once again, this is Clay Staires with Tulsa Business Leadership, and podcast number 57, the Staires Steps to Freedom. Step number one, the why.

Clay Staires