A lesson of “Why”

I had an epiphany after an event that occurred yesterday and it started like this…….”Why in the hell can’t I get my 10 year old daughter to turn the light off in her room?!?!”  I don’t know how many times I’ve asked her and I’ve made the pivotal mistake of threatening to ground her but never doing it because even in my mind it sounds so trivial.   And then it hit me, a day later albeit, that I never “started with the why.”

You see, I’ve recently started reading Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” and I know that I’ve previously seen his Ted Talk on this very same topic at least a handful of times.   And yet, here I am, someone who writes a leadership blog still forgetting the all powerful Why.  If you haven’t heard Simon’s speech, then you’re surely missing out so click here; but only after you finish reading my blog.

Back to my daughter.  It occurred to me that while I may have said to her at some point that it costs us money, she doesn’t even really understand the value of money at age 10 nor does she even know what an electric bill is; or any bill for that matter.  However, what if I show her that electric bill and tie it back to how if it were her allowance money she could use it to buy some clothes, music or an American Girl doll, then maybe, just maybe she’d get the point.  I’ll have to get back to you on that…..

Whether my daughter gets it or not, the point is that as leaders the only way others will buy into anything is if they understand Why we’re doing it in the first place.  We can empower them all day long but unless they understand the meaning of why we’re not building that trust, engagement and L.O.V.E.



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