In my mid to late 20’s I was living in Miami and working in nightlife. It was a fast-paced-go-all-night-always-on, kind of atmosphere. The hospitality industri is incredibly fun and exciting, but also very, very rough, especially in big cities such as Miami, Las Vegas and NYC. Back then, the CEO’s of these venues all seemed to be cut from the same cloth; it was a world with strict hierarchy and “the boss” was always KING.
It was more than common for executives to berate and belittle employees, and not uncommon for male managers to make female staff cry cause of their lack of tact when giving “direction”. A standard answer by one particular CEO was “DON’T WORRY ABOUY WHY !! JUST DO WHAT I TELL YOU !!” – the answer would echo in the office and was used as response to most people who would ask why -unless you were part of the senior management team, which I was lucky to be included in.
Even though I was fortunate to rarely be the target of the yelling or elaborate profanities, it made a lasting impact on me. A person asking “why?” is most likely concerned, and in my view eager to do the task at hand correctly. To not explain why something should be done is to exclude that person from thinking and having an opinion about what he or she should do - and I can’t think of a single thing that can make an intelligent person care less about their work than this type of exclusion.
WHY has always been of utmost importance to me personally. It is closely related to strategic objectives and this is what I find most interesting. I haven't always been the best at defining my own "why". It is way easier to do be objective when looking at an organization or a brand then it is to do for yourself and I wish I would have been better at it, especially as I was younger.
The reason you do anything should always matter.
Your “why” will guide you when deciding “how”, and ultimately “when”.
In our work at NEVERMYND it always starts with 'Y'. It is what matters most when building a brand, creating a strategy, or making a commitment.
We certainly 'mind the Y'. As should you.