The Purpose and Power of Why      (pt.2)

A business professional was walking by a construction site and asked two bricklayers the question “What are you building?”  The first bricklayer said, “I don’t know but all that matters to me is that I am making 15 dollars an hour.”  The second bricklayer answered “We are building the most pristine cathedral that has ever graced the downtown skyline; people will come to worship God in this building for generations to come.”  Five years later which one of these two bricklayers do you think will still be just laying bricks?

In my last post about having a Cry Why I mentioned that it’s easier for people to give up when they don’t know the Why behind what they are doing.  Looking at this story you see the second bricklayer had a strong and compelling WHY.

As the Executive Director of the Dream Center of Tampa I realized that the bricklayers in this organization are the volunteers and the building they are helping to construct is each young dreamer that walks through the door.  I am making it my mission to get each of the volunteers connected to the vision by seeing themselves as more than volunteers but as “Champion Dream Builders” that are assisting young dreamers to build their dreams.

At our volunteer expo I asked each of the volunteers to write WHY they serve at the Dream Center on a sheet of paper.  After they wrote their WHY down I challenged some of them to share their WHY with the rest of the group.  I then shared with them that if what they wrote didn’t move them to the point of tears then they may need to dig deeper and write down their “Cry Why”.  Then with all of them standing up with their written Why in their left hand and their right fist up in the air like a champion fighter we all together declared the affirming statement “I Am A Champion!”

I plan on developing a culture at the Dream Center of Tampa where we challenge every volunteer without a why (first bricklayer) to become Champion Dream Builders (second bricklayer) by tapping into the power of their Why.  Every time they see one of the young dreamers they won’t see a lost, disadvantaged inner city at risk kid (first brick layers vision) but they will see a future pediatric doctor, marriage counselor or video game designer (second brick layers vision).  When there is a shift in mindset from what that young dreamer’s situation is right now (first brick layers vision) to where their dream with the assistance of an army of champion dream builders will take them (second brick layers vision) there will be lasting life change and dreams realized.

As a leader you can help your team to avoid getting trapped in the mundane and routine by encouraging them to tap into the power of their WHY.  When your team members know their why then you will have done a great service for your organization.  It will help with retention and job satisfaction and you will also infuse your team with new passion by guiding them in the process to discovering their WHY.

guest post by:

Chris Davis

Executive Director Dream Center Tampa, FL