For years now I have been a loyal member of the Star Alliance Frequent Flyer Program. Although I don’t fancy a few airlines that are part of the Star Alliance Network, I refuse to give up because of Singapore Airlines. They have truly captured my heart not just my mind because they effectively communicate their ‘Commitment to Excellence’, which is their WHY statement, in every possible way they conduct business. They simply don’t focus on ‘What’ they do best or even ‘How’ they are able to perform better than others.
It is this attribute that has allowed them to “maintain a lasting success and have a greater blend of innovation and flexibility” (Sinek 2011, 49) even in a highly competitive environment. Every time I fly Singapore airlines, I am not just transacting business with them but I experience that commitment to excellence, which causes me to consciously choose them over other airlines even though their prices sometimes may not be competitive. Over the years, my loyalty has grown because of my sense of belongingness.
I share this experience to corroborate the concepts and principles Simon Sinek pens in “Start With Why”, my latest read. Sinek’s premise is that the ‘Why’ of anything is much more important to define that the What or the How. He posits that when people understand why you do what you do, they are inspired and don’t have to be manipulated in which case, their loyalty is long-lasting leading to consistent performance, and resilient relationships.
Having read the book and reflected here’s my WHY statement, which, as a leader I hope and pray is compelling enough for people to want to strive with me:
I am convinced that the Reign of God extended and lived out is the only secure, stable and sustainable moral, political, social and physical order under which human life can thrive and realize its full potential bringing glory and honor to God. That’s why I do what I do; that’s why advocate for justice, that’s why I am burdened to invest in the lives of children, young people and women, and that’s why I struggle for equality and peace.
Sinek, Simon. Start with why: how great leaders inspire everyone to take action. New York: Portfolio, 2011.