Blog - Faith & Work

Why Do We Work? Frederick Neichtze and Simon Sinek highlight the importance of motivation.

Posted by Steve Vaughan

16-Sep-2013 23:58:00

Frederick Neichtze once said

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how." 

Neichtze said something we all know to be true, each of us is searching for a greater purpose on which to base our lives. Once we know "why" we are doing something, what is the greater good that I am living for, we will devote time, energy, money and brainpower to fulfilling the "how". Conversely if we are unsure about the "why" then we quickly can become demotivated, inefficient and unsatisfied in the "how".


This vital principle has been applied to the work place and popularised by Simon Sinek. Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home everyday feeling fulfilled by their work, Sinek is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them. Here is a simple diagram that explains his thinking.
Simon says that so often we get things in the wrong order. In his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action Sinek outines that instead of starting with 'what' we do day-to-day and then thinking about 'how' we do it before finally thinking about 'why we do it' we need to reverse the order. 
For example
  1. What - Organise my customers information.
  2. How - through a computer system and team work.
  3. Why - to get my job done, please the boss and get paid.

But if we switch the order we could say

  1. Why - Provide the best customer satisfaction possible, to benefit others and grow the business
  2. How - Organise our customers information as best as possible to be able to serve them as best as possible - use computer systems and team work
  3. What - Take care in following the processes that support our customer service.

This is only a minor example, but perhaps it is the most helpful as it shows how this can work in a very day to day mundane way.

So let's go bigger picture again, why do we work at all? What is the purpose, cause and drive behind all that we do?  The obvious answers will be around earning money, giving purpose to our lives and find community. On a deeper level we may be motivated by trying to bring blessing to others, to seek the peace and prosperity of Dublin or to image our creator God. Hwoever will these provide that deeply fulfilling motivation that each of us needs to be the best we can be?
The following ebook looks at each of these motivations and what it means to find your ultimate motivation in reflecting the ultimate worker, in whose image we were made.

 Download free ebook - Why Work?