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Before heading home yesterday, I asked some of my colleagues in the office what makes THEM get up in the morning. There were many different answers but also two things that we all had in common.

Since I became a mom, I find myself working at slightly odd hours because I want to spend as much time as possible with my daughter before she goes to bed. When turning down a social activity, more than once I have been asked by friends or family: “Why don’t you just tell your boss that you can’t finish this or that task today?” A question that has always made me a bit confused. And I have tried to explain that no one actually tells me to finish it. I want to do it for myself! Because I believe that there is a purpose with what I do and that I actually make a difference. And that’s what makes me get up in the morning.

Before heading home yesterday, I asked some of my colleagues in the office what makes THEM get up in the morning. There were many different answers but also two things that we all had in common: Great colleagues and the possibility to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.

According to leadership guru Simon Sinek, there is one specific thing that differ successful leaders from the ones who are not: instead of thinking, acting and communicating solely WHAT they are trying to achieve or HOW they are trying to achieve it – they start with WHY. They focus on their purpose! The best example is probably Martin Luther Kings’ “I have a dream” speech. If you are able to make people believe, share and work towards the same purpose, that’s when true value is created!

Start with WHY

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of gathering my great HR and Communication team for the first time. We spent two days in Copenhagen trying to get closer to how to best match our services with our customer’s needs. And we started to elaborate on our WHY. WHY do we even exist? WHY should anyone use our services? And WHY should leaders and employees take our advice? If we want to truly impact the business we need to be able to communicate why we are here. As inspiration, we watched this speech by Simon Sinek (at some point the most viewed video on Ted Talk) – I can truly recommend it.

I experienced a true WHY situation when I recently was invited to join a team-building event with one of our customers. In the introductory speech, Top Management at our customer said they had come to realize that they would never be able to reach their strategic goals without IFS. Even though I was not even part of the project, I felt very proud being part of IFS. I can only imagine how my colleagues, who actually contributed to this success, and most likely also have worked odd hours of the day to make everything come together, must have felt like. Talk about a true reason to get up in the morning!

On our last meeting in the Scandinavian Management Team I shared my reflections as a newcomer on the things we are doing well and my ideas on where and how to further improve. One of the things we agreed on is that we want to add more WHY to IFS. In the way we lead, in the way we communicate and in the way we involve our colleagues around us. We all have our personal purposes for being here and we believe that sharing our purpose will lead to true inspiration and people who follow – not because they have to but because they want to! Can you imagine what we can achieve if we all wake up every day inspired to go to work and return home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled by the work we have done? This is a very interesting journey and we have only just begun…

Ps. Remember to talk to your leader about WHY YOU get up in the morning!

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