The WHY
Jul 2012 22

When Bruce Wayne decides to get back out on the streets of Gotham as the Batman, he does so because others need him to. He does so because it seems like the right thing to do and that he is the right person to do it. All of those things are true. There isn’t another super hero waiting in the wings on. But, (spoiler alert) when he comes up against the pure evil of Bane, he stands no chance the first time around. The reason was simply the “WHY”

In one of the best TEDTalks out there, Simon Sinek talks about the difference between how good companies and great companies talk about what they do. Good companies explain what they do and then share how they do it. Great companies explain WHY they do what they do and the beliefs that back their motivation and then may also mention how and what they do to help round out the story. It is an 18 minutes well worth the time.

In thinking about Bane’s WHY vs. Batman’s WHY, it was crystal clear that Bane would win out in their first encounter (that and there was almost two hours left in the movie…)

His belief was forged in something bigger than himself and a quest that had nothing to do with personal gain. Bane’s belief was the playing out of a vision that would last much longer after he was gone. The belief behind Batman’s WHY was conjured at best.

When advising start-ups or taking a look at any new projects myself, the first thing that I am learning to ask is WHY. WHY does this project, opportunity, or company care more about the problem they’re solving and the solution their providing than everyone else? WHY am I willing to turn down other initiatives and potentially also successful endeavors to see this one through? WHY does this campaign towards something that others are also considering get their first and with more gusto?

If I can’t answer that question, I too will end up missing a vertebrae and exiled to a professional living hell until I find the strength to act first on belief and then out of confidence in that belief.

  • http://www.andyellwood.com/2012/10/some-thoughts-on-hustle/ Some Thoughts on Hustle « andy ellwood

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