Ask, “Why?” Ask it all the time.

Find your opportunities for excellence. Do it, by asking, “Why?”

I find myself somewhat dissatisfied as I sit here this evening, realizing there are just four more days left in the month of March. There is much more mediocrity to wage war with.

What’s your warpath m.o.?

Not that I expected us to completely rid our world of it in just one month’s time, I am more of a realist than that. However I am almost wishing April would not arrive yet, for you know that means a new ho‘ohana, and I do indeed have one waiting in the wings for us.

It will be wonderful (our April Ho‘ohana), however I’m just not willing to shift focus yet. Auto-pilot and mediocrity is really, really bugging me. I am seeing them everywhere. Like at the airport yesterday. As I dutifully went through the motions now so automatic to me, I asked one of the security screeners, “Why is it that we have to take our laptops out and put them in the bins?” and he responded, “I’m not sure, but I’m sure there’s a good reason.”

Sorry, but that answer is just not good enough. Mediocre systems and processes on auto-pilot are turning people into robots.

Are you asking “Why?” enough? If you are a manager, you must. “Why?” must be your very favorite question, and you have to be less accepting of the answers you may get.

And you have to be willing to ask yourself “Why?” sometimes often too.

I am convinced that auto-pilot and mediocrity essentially come from one thing: management failures. Not equipment failures, funding failures, labor failures, market failures, government failures, society failures or timing failures. Somehow, all of those things stem from management failures.

My hope for March is that we have at the very least created a new habit for ourselves in seeking these culprits out, so that auto-pilot and mediocrity can no longer slip below our radar.

Name the habit KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u, or name it “seeking excellence” if you prefer the English words, but have it be a habit of asking “Why?” about everything.

Four more days. Help me make a final push with KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u, so I can feel ready for April, would you? What mediocrity have you been able to conquer on your own warpath?

Our March Ho‘ohana: KÅ«lia i ka nu‘u! The Best We Can Be.


  1. says

    9 Links for 4/1/06

    The Story of a Software Failure
    3 Imperatives of Leader
    Multitasking and Conflict
    Ask, “Why?” Ask it all the time.
    MSF 4.0 Released
    I Cant Find My Car Keys and The Second Law of Thermodynamics
    Creating Passionate Users
    Building a large Java …