4 Year Old Executive: The Power of “Why?” [Part 2]

“Because I said so!”, I responded to my four year old.  This came after answering the question of “Why?” seven different times…seven different ways.

“WHY?” – “WHY?” – “WHY?”

This is Part 2 of the series “4 Year Old Executive”, read Part 1 here.

I’m sure I am the only parent in the world that has experienced this, and I know none of you have ever answered this question as “Because I said so!”  As a child, I distinctly remember thinking I would never respond in this manner to my children…obviously things change.

As I found myself in another one of the “Why?” battles, I wondered how organizations would improve if more people had the determination of a four year old to ask “Why?”.  What changes would the ultimate pursuit of why bring about?  How could you better serve your clients if you stopped long enough to ask them why they decided to do business with you, or why they had trusted you for multiple years?

2 Scenarios to Consider

#1 – Discover the Power to Change

Question: “Why do we do this?”

Answer:  “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

Q:  “Why?”

A:  “That’s the way I was trained to do it when I started here ten years ago?”

Q:  “Why?”

A:  “I don’t know!”

RED FLAG:  If you don’t know why you are doing something, and a more effective/efficient method is available, CHANGE IT!  This would never have been discovered without the persistence of a four year old asking “Why?”

#2 – Donor Engagement (Nonprofit example)

Q:  “Why did you give during this fundraiser?”

A:  “I felt it was a worthy cause.”

Q:  “Why?”

A:  “Because we had a grandson who suffered from the same condition.”

ENGAGEMENT ALERT:  Wow, what a discovery!  This may have gone unknown forever without some follow up and the persistence of a four year old asking “Why?”

I am not suggesting you turn into the team member who questions everything, and I have over simplified this process with the two scenarios above.  The power of “Why?” is amazing, and should be utilized as a way to assess yourself, your organization, and your relationship to those you serve.

Where have you asked the question “WHY?”  And what was the result?

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