I recently finished a good book called Start with Why by Simon Sinek. He creates a golden circle that explains how great leaders focus their organizations. It’s a good and quick read and I highly recommend it. And if you aren’t a reader, you can view the author speaking on the subject on TED.
The premise of the book is about the Golden Circle about how companies operate. The outermost circle is the WHAT. Every company does something. That’s the WHAT. Usually the WHATs are easy to identify. We make widgets. We sell cars. We do remodeling work. All of these are WHATs.
Next comes the HOW. The HOW is HOW your company does the WHAT. Think of it as your value proposition or competitive advantage. HOWs are often used as selling propositions to explain HOW something is better or different. We have a low cost advantage. We have great customer service. We use only the best materials. All are examples of HOW.
And the innermost (and most important) is the WHY. The WHY is the purpose of the company. The reason it exists. The reason people come to work for you. It’s what you believe in.
The golden circle concept can be applied to a company or even parts of a company. The best companies work from the inside to the outside of the Golden Circle. They start with WHY.
So what’s your mortgage WHY? Do you even have one? Mortgage loans are just a means to be a home owner. They are about hopes and dreams. So developing a WHY shouldn’t be too hard.
At our Credit Union, our WHY for mortgage lending is to help members create wealth and strengthen the communities where our members live and work.
Our HOW is we have first time home buyer programs, we have a home rebate program for real estate commissions, we have quick turn times and local underwriting and we have education programs.
Finally, our WHAT is that we offer a wide variety of mortgage loans at competitive prices and rates.
If the mortgage is just another product that you offer to members, you’ll probably have limited success. You’ll just be focused on closing a loan and moving to the next one. The mortgage will simply be a transaction. You need a WHY.
As another example, our mortgage CUSO, myCUmortgage, processes and underwrites loans for Credit Unions. The CUSO has the following WHY: We believe Credit Unions are the best place for Americans to get a home loan and this belief carries over into the HOW we do things and the WHAT we do.
Need some help figuring out your WHY? Think about these two ideas:
1. The author makes the point over and over again that people don’t buy WHAT you sell, they buy your WHY? Lots of institutions sell mortgage loans, but the ones who select your Credit Union may be choosing you because of your WHY. So ask them WHY they picked you to get their home loan from you?
2. He also says that people don’t work for you because of your WHAT. Again, it’s because of the WHY. Your mortgage staff has lots of employers to choose from so WHY do they work for you? Ask them.
To be truly memberlicious, you need to find your WHY. So what’s yours?