The Beatles, Neil Young and Taylor Swift all have songs titled, “Tell Me Why.” The lyrics differ but the message is the same; it’s essentially, Tell me why you did what you did.
Yesterday, I was presenting to group of managers from Holt C Stores in Wilmington, a convenience store company. We were talking about the concept of Manager as Teacher. The folks were smart, fun and really got into describing their best teachers ever…and the worst teachers they ever had.
One of the basic points of manager as teacher is to be sure and tell people, here’s why we need you to do what you’re going to do.
Adults workers, especially, want to know the reasoning behind the directions. Unfortunately, too few managers are willing to take the time to explain why. Even more unfortunate is that too many managers don’t know the why. They were told to do something by their manager who never explained the why…who might not have known the why themselves.
Why are you doing what you do? Could you explain it in simple terms (other than, “I need to make a living”) to someone else?
Here’s the more difficult question: Can you explain it to yourself?