“Why Am I Here?” (and 4 More Questions You Might Ask About Your Job)

If you’re struggling a bit with your job these days and perhaps asking yourself questions, they are most likely to include at least one of the 5 powerful questions that help frame you and your job.

Whether you are an employee or a manager, they are critical.

Research shows that in high performing business cultures, every person in the company – from the top to the bottom – could answer 5 simple questions.

  1. Why am I here?
  2. Where am I going?
  3. How am I doing?
  4. Where do I go for help?
  5. What’s in it for Me? (W.I.I.F.M)

For a Manager, these questions are important when supporting your staff, because they translate into 5 critical management factors you can focus on when managing others (in CAPITAL letters below, preceded by their relevant questions). Specifically…

  1. Why am I here? (MISSION)
  2. Where am I going? (GOALS)
  3. How am I doing? (FEEDBACK)
  4. Where do I go for help? (SUPPORT)
  5. What’s in it for Me? (REWARDS).

The research also shows that most Managers are pretty good at answering the first two questions…

  1. Why am I here? (MISSION) and
  2. Where am I going? (GOALS)

But it showed that they were not as good at answering…

  1. How am I doing? (FEEDBACK)
  2. Where do I go for help? (SUPPORT) and
  3. What’s in it for Me? (W.I.I.F.M) (REWARDS)

And, among the 3 they were not good at, the research showed that managers were the poorest at Feedback. They were only slightly better at Support, and slightly better again at Rewards.

The research study also clarified that…

“How am I doing?” didn’t just mean letting the individual know they have done a good job after they have completed the job.

Rather, it meant giving them continuous, appropriate Feedback on the way to completing the job with the emphasis on “continuous” and “appropriate”.


“Where do I go for help?”  was about a very specific type of Support.

It meant letting them know “where can I go for psychologically safe, unconditionally accepting, non-judgmental and, where relevant, confidential support?”.

The third insight was that…

“What’s in it for me?”  had nothing to do with money as a Reward. Rather, it had everything to do with the way they felt after dealing with their Manager.

This desired outcome (the way they wanted to feel) was that they consistently walked away from interaction with their manager with the aftertaste and feeling that they had been listened to, heard, valued, supported, cared for, that they were growing, and were being grown.

This was their “reward”.

And, this is good news.

Because, as a manager, you can answer these critical questions on an ongoing basis for individuals reporting to you- which will help foster and maintain a high-performance culture.

For a more comprehensive view of high performance business cultures please click here…