The Formula for Business Success: What = Why + How

Often, we know WHAT to do. We don’t know HOW or WHY to do it.

In other words,
What = How + Why

It’s algebra. If you know two of the variables, you can solve for the third with a little effort.

Working with CEOs, WHAT is almost always 100% clear. WHY is usually clear and inspirational. Thousands of books, inspirational talks, sayings and overpaid consultants that talk about WHAT. Less that speak to WHY. There are even less that actually help with the HOW. Information without application (HOW) is useless.

That’s because HOW is tough.

HOW involves difficult people decisions.
HOW isn’t always fun.
HOW is where you start to hear “it really is lonely at the top.”
HOW takes time.
HOW is where you get criticism from others.
HOW drives people into wondering what others have done.
HOW forces CEOs into support groups and leading by the latest book that someone read.

Although the dynamics of growth are the same, each situation, each person is unique.

The solution lies in a blend of what worked with others AND the nuances of your unique circumstances.

An example: You know WHAT to do. You want to grow a company. WHY? To create an innovative and fresh product/service that changes the world for the better. If you do that, you’ll create a company where people flourish.

HOW? That’s where we get stuck. It could be getting rid of a Brilliant Jerk. You may need to redo the org chart. Or you may need a to develop a clear strategy and communication plan that gets (and keeps) your team aligned. You might need to start pouring more into the employees you have today.

No one would argue with the WHAT or WHY. The HOW is sticky. The HOW can be subjective.

How to find your how

Do you know WHAT you want to do? If you know WHY, you can figure out HOW. Here are some tips on how to find your HOW:

  1. Trust your instincts.
  2. Continue to invest in yourself.
  3. Surround yourself with people who know you, your people and your unique circumstances.
  4. Find people that have walked a mile in your shoes.
  5. Build relationships strong enough to handle the weight of the truth.

How will you find your HOW?