Perhaps you’ve read Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” or have heard his famous TED talk on the subject.

If you haven’t, I highly recommend diving into both, especially if you hold a leadership role within an organization. I say this from experience: Sinek’s philosophy has significantly changed the way we think at Abdo, Eick & Meyers.

For years we talked about what we did and how we served our clients—“We’re a CPA firm that provides services to businesses, their owners, and governments through our ‘People + Process’ approach.” But we never really dug beneath the surface to articulate why we do things the way we do.

So we decided to take Sinek’s advice and ask ourselves the following questions: What do we do that matters? What do we, as a firm, truly stand for? What’s unique about working here? What do we get out of bed for each day? (There were a few others, but you get the idea.)

We presented these questions at a town hall-style staff meeting with our mangers and partners. One by one, our team began calling out answers. Many shared a story that underscored the reason we become accountants, auditors and consultants in the first place. The energy in the room was palpable. Everyone was engaged and eager to share.

At the end of the meeting, we were able to articulate our core values and boil our “why” down to this:

“We’re here because business owners and governments need solutions to their challenges—not a commodity product. Through our dedication to teamwork, development and relationships, we will help our clients thrive.”

The experience of defining our “why” was powerful; I can still feel a buzz in our office halls. We have shared these types of stories at our last town hall and will continue to share them during our regular stand-up staff meetings (i.e., brief meetings without chairs). We will also share them with you here.

In doing so, we hope to strengthen our sense of purpose while inspiring others to look inside and find their own “why.”

Until next time,