April 12, 2016
Leading with Why
The following is an abbreviated* copy of the article by Jon Yost
"I recently watched Simon Sinek’s YouTube video titled Start with Why—How Great Leaders Inspire Action...I reflected upon my own PLC journey and remembered what helped create buy-in and helped the staff get excited. It wasn’t the What or the How of professional learning communities, it was when they embraced the Why...
Sinek makes a key statement. He writes, “There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.” Inspiration comes from knowing why you do what you do. It comes from staying true to why you went into education.
We inspire behavior when we keep why we exist at the center of our conversations. We create greater shared ownership when we collectively define our purpose. Conversations around impacting our students and our community create excitement. Conversely, our What and How rarely, if ever, inspire us.
I need to caution you that discovering your Why isn’t as quick and easy as you might think. Your Why is greatly influenced by your experiences, values, and beliefs. Write them down. Contemplate them. Refine them. Expand them. Most importantly, know them and share them regularly.You’ll find yourself not having to work too hard for opportunities to share the How and What, but I’ve found you’ll have much more success if you talk about the Why first and frequently!
Here are some of my own favorite Why's:
- Our issues are complex and no one has all the answers.
- PLC’s are about empowering everyone to make a difference.
- Collaboration improves our thinking.
- I need your best thinking.
- I need your ideas.
- I want everyone to be part of a team.
- I want work to be like family.
- It is so much more enjoyable being a part of a team.
- We can do anything if we put our minds together.
Be courageous! Be passionate! Care deeply for your colleagues and share your Why!
*find the full article here: All Things PLC Blog