Why Do You Exist in Your Role?


The one question every leader needs to answer, but few can. Why do you exist in your role?

This is a basic question that is helpful to ask every once in a while. It is a basic question but going back to the basics is important. Ask any sports coach and they will say the basics are the glue that holds a well-executed play together: your stance in golf; throwing and hitting in baseball. Get good at the basics, and you can operate well under pressure.

So now is the time to get back to the basics in business.

   Why do you exist in your role?  


Surprisingly when I ask this to most managers and directors they have a hard time answering it.

The question is really designed for you to rediscover your purpose - so why do you exist in your role? This question will require you to dig deeper than simply listing out duties from your job description.

When people start to examine their role from this perspective they begin to reconnect with what's important to them. It gets to the core of their purpose. For instance a sales manager began this exercise by listing that he closes sales and generates revenue. While this is obviously important, and the reason he was hired.  When he dug deeper into the question, he discovered his real purpose was to be one of the faces of the company. For him this was startling, he had never viewed himself from this perspective. He realized that everything he did required a different level of professionalism, both outside of the company and within it. This generated enormous energy and pride for him.

Answering the question is a personal exercise. For some the salesperson’s discovery would not be enough. For others achieving revenue goals would be the meaningful why. Whatever works. The important idea here is to uncover an answer which generates the kind of energy that shifts how you do your role and impacts the company.

To get to the answer that is meaningful, you may need to list out your duties, but don’t stop there. Look at what's important to you, and then look for patterns within the list. Those patterns will provide clues for you. You know you will have uncovered the right answer, because it will feel right to you. It will be as if a switch has been turned on – again!

We would be interested in how you answered the question: Why do you exist in your role?
Send us an e-mail, and we will provide you with some more powerful questions which will help focus you to use your re-ignited passion for your role in a productive way.

 Copyright © 2016 Jonathan Creaghan, all rights reserved