A What Without a How

A “what” without a “how” is like a car without gas.

My “what” statement:

What I’m doing in life is adding value to others in ways consistent with who I am and that energize me. Sounds great but it’s comfortably ambiguous.

Asking how:

“What” is not enough.

Asking how I can add value moves me from pie in the sky to rubber hits the road. That’s what I did while driving home yesterday. “What” determines destination. “How” explains action.

The first “how”:

Five “hows” that give feet to my “what”.

  1. Encourage, nurture, support, and believe in my wife.
  2. Help others know themselves by listening for their values and creating or exploring meaningful opportunities that express their values.
  3. Help others to say the hard things about their performance.
  4. Because I’m a talker, I’ll talk less and listen more.
  5. Find people with passion and help them enhance their value.

The second “how”:

The first how helps but doesn’t go far enough. For example, how will I encourage my wife? Or, how will I focus on people with passion?

I’ll encourage my wife by cleaning the kitchen. That’s no impotent mirage that makes me feel like I’ve done something when I haven’t.

How will I find people with passion? I’ll gravitate toward frustrated people and see if I can fuel their fire.

Take action:

Leaders always focus on “what” first. But without two “how” questions you’ll stagnate.

You may be wondering, what about “why”? That’s a good question for another day. Today is “how” day.

How” can you add value today?