Why Don't We Tell Them Why?

The concept of "why" is important in transferring vision and purpose.
The concept of "why" is important in transferring vision and purpose. (iStock photo )

"If we lose our "why," we lose our way.

Most leaders spend a lot of time teaching what to do and how to do it. Only a few leaders recognize the importance of teaching a team "why" we do what we do.

I remember asking my dad "why" on one occasion. His answer was "because I said so." That answer may be appropriate in parenting, but as leaders in organizations we should be teaching that the discovery of why is important to transferring vision and purpose.

Depending on the version of the Bible you use, the phrase "so that" appears around 800 times. Do that, so that. I think the phrase "so that" illuminates our why.  

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Consider a few verses (MEV):

"For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the deeds of the righteous and the wise are in the hand of God" (Eccl. 9:1).

"Yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all shrubs, and shoots out great branches, so that the birds of the air may nest in its shade" (Mark 4:32).

"But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest seat, so that when he who invited you comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher' " (Luke 14:10).

"For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself does. And He will show Him greater works than these so that you may marvel" (John 5:20).

"This is so that I may be encouraged together with you by each other's faith, both yours and mine" (Rom. 1:12).

You will also notice in Paul's letters a clear dependence on "so that" as he leads the church.

Place emphasis on teaching why. It just may reduce the number of times you need to repeat yourself.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10).

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.


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