According to David Hassell of 15Five, companies work towards measurable goals, but goals are meaningless without knowing why you’re aiming for them, and as it is often the case,  we tend to forget to examine why certain objectives were created in the first place,  and we miss the opportunity to foster our team according to the true mission, which is more than just making money.

What motivates us to work?

According to behavioral economist Dan Ariely:

it isn’t just money and not just joy either, but fueled by both challenge and by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose

Ariely gave a Ted Talk and shared his research experiments that reveal our attitudes toward meaning in our work, and that employees are motivated by a feeling of connection to a greater purpose and by ownership and pride in their work.

What makes us feel good about our work? | Dan Ariely

The finding that motivation it isn’t just money, has been confirmed by  a study by Nobel Prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman, who contested that after a certain point -75,000 a year- the amount of money you have is not directly correlated to happiness. After that, extra earnings fails to produce any meaningful difference in your level of happiness.

So. If you aren’t happy with what you are doing, it’s time to step back and discover your WHY because money simply isn’t enough on its own.

And as Simon discovered, – in his book ‘Start With WHY’, and explained in his TEDx talk  – it is truly the WHY that differentiates the simple doers from the passionate leaders that are changing the world we live in. He explains how industry leaders distinguish themselves, not by what they produce but by articulating their “WHY”.

Apple has a very clear WHY (they believe in challenging the status quo) and that is how they distinguish themselves from competitors.

Simon Sinek, points out three levels in order to be successful:

– We need to know what we do
– We need to know how we do it
– We need to know why we do it

And to keep our WHY at the center of all that we do as leaders and make sure that every decision made and action is taken with the purpose of moving our WHY forward.

It is the job of a manager, leader, to not only keep the company or department running but also to keep up a happy workforce.

Chip Conley, in his book “Peak”, set out to help companies start with their why by applying the principles of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to organisations. He set out to uncover how to create a company that helps every one of their employees move up the pyramid, ultimately leading the organisation to reach its peak potential as more of its individuals move closer to their own self-actualisation.