I tend to think a lot in questions of What? & Why? I have always been so curious to find out why something – anything – works the way it does. I don’t care as much to know how it accomplishes what it does, but to know what it’s purpose is.
What I’ve learned in the years of asking myself “Why” questions is that while so little in life “just does,” so much “just is.”
C.S. Lewis is one of my examples of a brilliant mind that asks the “Why” questions. He breaks down ideas into the most basic principles; he was a king of analytics. But even he makes the statement
“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
Some things just are. Like our strengths. And our passions. Some things are learned and cultivated. Others are what we call ‘natural,’ inherent pieces of our DNA. They just are.
And this is what I feel differentiates me from those who have come before me. Whatever questions we naturally want to ask, sometimes we should stop asking and accept that we don’t understand. Only then can we open our ears to counterparts in our lives, in our work, in our office to collectively find solutions and reach decisions that we can’t make when we’re just asking a “Why” question. Or a “How” question, and so on.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: tomorrow’s CEOs were brought up in an era of innovation and quick adaptations. And the smart ones know to use the strengths of our culture that have made it easier for us to stop talking and listen.
(Despite the noise, which in itself is another blog post entirely… Stay tuned.)