Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Start with Why

It used to be tough enough to pick a few columnists to follow, but when blogging grew into a hydra it became impossible to pick "just a few." 

Indeed, even if you wrote off the millions who when you saw what they were doing you wished for a universal block & report spam button, there was still so much "good" stuff that one could not begin with any organized approach, and even if there were a "system" I am too undisciplined to have followed it.

I have to say that despite all the issues we face in the country on more levels than I can count, I am encouraged by what seems like a never-ending stream of creative, thoughtful, and often very insightful writing that I come across either by chance or because someone sends me a link because they think I would be interested, which, thruth be known, has turned out to be Dave's "search engine" of blogs that interest me.

So, such was the case when I discovered Matt Youngquist's blog which he calls Career Horizons The Blog.  Given that I am a recovering HR person of some 40+ years and the fact that ExecuNet is deeply committed to the career and business challenges of the senior level executive, that I would want to check out a blog with Career Horizons as its moniker is no surprise.  If you haven't had a chance to check it out, I would.  You can tell by the way Matt writes that he is a "giver" not a "taker" which by definition makes me a fan.

Anyway, last week he ran a piece he called Leadership, Wherefore Art Thou? and among other links he included to help him make his point was one that took the reader to the TED site and an 18 minute talk given in 2009 by Simon Sinek called How Great Leaders Inspire Action.  His talk was the result of a book he wrote around his theory called Start With Why.  My guess is that many readers here have heard of it and/or read it.  If not, put it on your summer reading list, or if you want the cliff notes, listen to the TED talk.

I think that most of us who find ourselves in leadership roles either by happenstance or design struggle with the challenges, and maybe this is the reason why Senek's approach resonated so profoundly and reminded me of exactly why it is that people so often have said to me "boy Dave it is really clear that you are passionate about what you do!"  And usually when they say that, I can't figure out what they have seen or heard that makes them feel that way.  When I listened  to Sinek's talk, I realized again where all that comes from.  What they sense and feel is (for good or ill) so much a part of who I am, that I don't even think about it which is why I am surprised when they say it. 

It doesn't come from what we as a company do or how we do it, although for sure both make me very excited and proud.  But that is hardly unique.  I am sure that any business leader would feel the same way.  So where does the inspiration/passion come from?

If you have listened to Sinek's talk you already know, if you haven't better you should listen rather than my trying to put it into words here.  He is far more eloquent.

It is indeed all about the why.

No comments: