Once the WHY of an organization has been identified, it has to be translated to the marketplace. A WHY without a tangible expression is just a dream – not that dreams are bad, but that dreams need to become real to make a difference.
The purpose/belief you worked so hard to articulate needs to become real so others can partake in it also. That’s where the HOW comes in.
Translating the WHY into Reality
Most often, the HOW requires a different strengths set than those of the WHY person. This is where the team comes in. HOW-gifted leaders come alongside the visionary WHY person to translate the dream of WHY into reality.
In small organizations, these HOW people may be both the leaders who figure out the way to translate the WHY into reality and the ones who make the products for customers. In larger organizations, they’re the leaders who develop plans translating the WHY effectively to a larger staff. That staff, in turn makes the products that answer the needs of the WHY of the organization.
HOW is another part of the initially unspoken emotional/behavioral connection between the organization’s WHY and the products and services they offer. This link is critical to bringing the dream, the vision to life.
There must be deep trust between the WHY and HOW parts of the organization, as they work in concert to bring the vision to reality.
HOW Leaders Bring the WHY to Life
A recent client experience shows the importance of having the right people in the WHY and HOW positions in the organization.
My client has stepped into a larger leadership role in her ministry organization over the past two years, following a leader with strong WHY gifts, but lacking in HOW gifts. My client’s personal WHY is helping others connect to the organization’s WHY in a way that leverages their own God-given gifts and strengths. She translates her personal WHY into a HOW that sets her team apart from the rest. By communicating the team’s purpose/vision (WHY), she inspires each team member to find a HOW related to their own strengths.
The result (WHAT) is incredible impact on their city. This led to leadership responsibility in additional cities. She’s working to replicate the success of her current role to new locations. Her ability to translate the organization’s WHY into a HOW that each person relates to and owns using their personal strengths is in high demand for her organization.
WHY and HOW roles are both critical to organizational success. Each of us has a personal WHY. Your personal WHY may translate into being the WHY person in an organization or you may have HOW gifts; strengths that lead to translating a larger WHY into HOW it’s lived out in the marketplace. Both of these roles originate in the older part of the brain, the seat of emotion, not language.
The ability to translate the WHY of the organization into a HOW, what sets you apart in the marketplace is an important skill. If you have this skill, you’ll be most fulfilled and rewarded if you connect with an organizational WHY that resonates with your personal WHY and help bring it to life.
What is your role in your organization? Are you the WHY person or the HOW person? Based on this, who do you need to bring around you to translate your WHY into the HOW leading to success?