Why do you run your race?

I was reading this amazing book “Start with why”  by Simon Sinek.  It talks about why some people and organizations are more inventive, pioneering and successful then others.  Many aspects of the books impressed me and got me drowned in reading, but one very touching component is what is wanted to talk about.  this is how the book ends…

There was a race, and with the bang of the gun it started. as with any race all start together but slowly some take off quicker than the others.  some fall behind.  BEN started the race and fell behind as soon as it started.  He was the slowest in the team.  he has never won a single race till date.  he has always been last. if every one takes 25mts to finish a race he would take 45.  Yet he runs.  he runs every race which happens.  all other runners see him run and also see him finish last.

this time again in the race he was last.  but something amazing happened.  after all the other racers completed the race, they came back to run with BEN.  every other participant finished the race with BEN for the second time. And this time they all were behind Ben to see him cross the finishing line. 

so why is BEN running his race?  Why run and loose all the time?

Looking at BEN from our perspective the WHY has no meaning.  He is a looser and WHY he runs does not make any difference to any of us.

Now this is WHY Ben runs..

Ben has Cerebral palsy, a condition which affects ones movement and balance.  so ever time he runs, he will slip, fall, get up, get hurt, go down again…..but finishes the race.  Ben is not a example or part of the winner story.  He is a part of a bigger story.  So WHY does Ben run his race.

It is because he is competing against himself.  he wants to beat himself of his previous record. He has a clear purpose of WHY, to finish the race and better his own record.  he is not competing against any other in race.  This is the reason he does not get dejected when he is last in every race.

How about applying this to business?  when we entrepreneurs start with a clear WHY, we have our own purpose, we have our own track and timeline.  Imagine competing against your own record day after day, month after month, year after year.  So when the question comes as to who is your competition, the response should be ” No idea.  they may be good at something.  but we are doing better then what we did last month and we will do much better the coming month.  we keep improving our service / product  month on month and we keep giving you better result/ experience month on month. ……. we will stand shoulder to shoulder and do not want to sit across the table to do a deal..”

He end the book by saying “what if every organization starts with a WHY”. no matter the size of the organization, the type of service, the type of industry, all it takes to start with your WHY and inspire the others to do the same.

I suppose then it is winning everyday.


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