Dr. Martin Luther King and Apple
All great and inspiring leaders and organizations think, act and communicate in exactly the same way and it's the complete opposite to everyone else. Every single person and organization knows what they do. Some even know how they do it. But very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. Your organization's why is not to make a profit, that is a result. Your why relates to your purpose or belief. Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care? Most people think, act and communicate in terms of what and how. But inspired leaders and organizations regardless of their size or industry all think act and communicate from the why, then to the how and the what.
People don't buy what you do, they by why you do it. This explains why people are comfortable buying a computer from Apple. But we are also perfectly comfortable buying an MP3 player from Apple or an iPhone from Apple or a DVR from Apple. There is nothing that structurally distinguishes Apple from any of their competitors. Their competitors may all be qualified to make great quality products like each of Apple's products. The goal is to do business with people that believe what you believe. Apple is developing an organization of employees, clients, business partners and suppliers that believe what they believe. They share a common vision or 'why.' If you don't know why you do what you do how will you ever get someone to buy something from you or, more importantly, be loyal and want to be a part of what it is you do? The goal is not just to sell to people that need what you have. The goal is to sell to people that believe what you believe. The goal is not just to hire people that need a job. The goal is to hire people that believe what you believe. If you hire people just because they can do a job they'll work for your money. If you hire people that believe what you believe they'll work for you with blood and sweat and tears. The others will just work for the pay cheque. If you talk regularly about what you believe you will attract those that believe what you believe.
All great and inspiring leaders and organizations continually tell others what they believe ... Dr. Martin Luther King; I have a dream ... Apple; In everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently. People that believe what you believe will make your cause their own and tell others. People show up and are engaged because of what they believe. Engaged organizations are developed by groups of people that share a common belief with the group. It was in 1963 that Dr. King gave his famous I have a dream speech. He didn't call it his I have a 12 point plan speech.
We follow inspirational leaders and organizations not for them but for ourselves.