If the Internet is any indication, there is plenty of how-to out there. There are plenty of posts and sites that can tell you, step-by-step or in enumerated ways, how to do something. What I tend to see less of, and wish to see more of, is what-for.

Every how-to should lead with the what-for. Why this is important. Why you should do it. Why this way and not another way. Why these steps in this order. Why these things and not some other things.

We need less hows and more whys.

Those who give the how-to are not entirely at fault here. The what-for is often assumed. Of course, people know the what-for… That’s why they need the how-to. Right?

Sometimes, perhaps. Often, not. And, even if they do, their what-for is likely different in some way than the what-for you are giving the how-to about. This is your chance to share why it matters to you the giver. It may make a world of difference to the receiver.

So, if you are in the business of giving a how-to, lead with the what-for. Because, I argue that the how-to is meaningless without the what-for. The what-for is what gives the how-to a reason to exist.

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