The Finale: Part 3/3 of Why, How, What!

The Finale: Part 3/3 of Why, How, What!
Photo by chaitanya pillala / Unsplash

Three weeks ago, we discussed Simon Sinek's Golden Circle and conducted a poll to gauge interest in learning more about how to think through the following questions:

  1. What is the purpose of the organization that I work for?
  2. Are my roles and responsibilities more focused on determining the why, how, or what?
  3. Do I enjoy working the most with my organization's why, how, or what, and is this aligned with my roles and responsibilities?

My first full-time job in the US was working at a startup consulting firm based out of Boston, Massachusetts. My responsibilities involved combining data from multiple Excel workbooks, cleaning and analysing the data, and emailing the file to my boss. Although I got very good at this task over time, I found it unfulfilling and my productivity started to decline.

During a performance review meeting with my boss, we realised that while our proprietary “Peer Yardstick” model (our how) helped differentiate our firm from competitors, I was better suited to figuring out what kind of consulting-based products we could offer our customers (the what) to make a positive impact on society (the why; our clientele primarily consisted of Jewish non-profit organisation's dealing with education and healthcare).

Initially reluctant, my boss agreed to let me switch roles (on the condition that I find and train a data analyst who enjoys the how). After a couple of months, we saw a gradual improvement in overall organisational efficiency, job satisfaction, sales, and profitability (our sales increased by ~30% YOY).

I was now able to do what I enjoy the most: meet prospective clients face-to-face, get firsthand feedback, and come up with innovative products and services that our firm could offer to help them fulfill their vision. The data analyst we hired excelled at her role, as we matched her likes with her assigned responsibilities.

I hope this simple example helps both team members and leaders better align a teams roles and responsibilities with the organisation's Why, How, and What and helps each one of us to Shoot to the Top!