William Liao

November 25, 2021

Reasons are easier to follow than rules

Instructions are often more effective when complemented with context.

You could just instruct your sales team — much to their perplexion — to revise a sales strategy that by anyone's account is currently working well. Or you could also explain that there is upcoming legislation in your sector that will require an entirely new way of engaging and selling to your customers.

You could just instruct your technical team to spend the next six months upgrading your infrastructure — a herculean effort. Or you could also explain that the team is expecting a substantial influx in users and that upgrading the infrastructure now will ensure that it doesn't become a bottleneck later.

At the end of the day, most teams would be inclined to follow instructions.

However, there is something to be said about the apparent difference in dedication, fervor, and execution between someone who is merely doing as they're told and someone who fully understands and believes in why they're doing the work. 

For this reason, it's vital to strive to lead with why, not with what.