Posted by Danyelle
Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, turned his fascination with people into a career convincing others to do what inspires them. His premise is simple, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Using examples such as Apple, the Wright brothers and Dr. Martin Luther King, he makes the case that success in business and in life is dependent upon purpose.
Here’s a quick look at the touch points of Sinek’s philosophy:
Sinek uses what he calls “the golden circle” to help us visualize his concept of starting with why. At the center of the bullseye diagram is “why,” followed by “how” and then “what”. Individuals who are focused on the outer ring—what they have to gain from an enterprise—rarely succeed. Likewise, businesses that tout what they do, for example, the benefits of their particular product or service, fade into the status quo. Those companies that begin a conversation with consumers and potential employees by invoking their beliefs and their purpose for existing rise above the rest.
The human brain isn’t just the organ responsible for rational thought, it’s also the center for feelings, emotion and “from-the-gut” decision making. As Sinek says, “[Martin Luther King, Jr.] gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech.” He moved a nation because he began with why, not how or what. He connected with our limbic brain, not with our rational mind, and we were driven to act because of what we also believed deeply to be true.
Loyalty to a cause, a product, or a company depends upon sharing a common belief system. “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears,” Sinek says. When it comes to educators, this concept is particularly true. It’s often been said that education is a calling, not a profession. Teachers teach because they are motivated by something greater than the glory or the paycheck. As an educational service provider, we strive to connect with this higher purpose that is innate in great teachers and great schools.
Sinek’s inside out thinking inspires us all to revisit how we tell the story of ourselves and of our product or service. As innovators in the field of education we constantly must reconnect with what makes us tick. For Thesys, it’s making education more relevant, stimulating and effective for 21st century learners. We believe our motivation matters so much that we’ve created a document dedicated to what we believe. It’s our why. What’s yours?