The Discipline of HOW

January 7, 2013

Good Monday morning to you! I hope your week is getting of to a great start. We had a nice quiet weekend, which is a good one in my book being an INTJ!

Last week I wrote a short piece on “The Importance of Why” from Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why. Very enlightening book and well worth adding to your library. He points out that most people start with WHAT, some go to HOW, but very few go to WHY. Those that do tend to have a profound impact on our world.

After he talks about the importance of starting with WHY, he then goes on to talk about the “Discipline of HOW”. Mr. Sineck says that the HOWs are the values or principles that bring your cause (WHY) to life. The HOW is (or should be) manifested in the systems and processes of the organization and its culture.

What is so critically important is to have the discipline to hold the organization and all its members accountable to those guiding principles. Your HOW has to be consistent with and support your WHY and you must hold yourself and those you lead accountable to those guiding principles. This is not easy, but it is a trait of highly effective people and organizations.

The sad part is that I have often found quite a gap in many organizations between their stated values and principles (those plastered on signs on the walls) and their functional values (what they really do and believe). Suggestion for you – do a culture audit and find out if you and your team really believe and act in the way that you say you should. Then review your policies and procedures – do they really support and strengthen your values and principles or are they simply something that you copied from the Internet of have “always done it that way”? Do a brutal assessment – then fix what you can. Close the gaps!!!

A question for you – how do you ensure you stay on track with your WHY (mission) and act in accordance with your core values and principles (HOW)?

BG