Another book that I have read that I believe every educator should read. Start With Why has helped me establish my WHYs for what I do in the classroom for my students. I want to be a leader that inspires others to follow because everyone knows my WHY and not because of manipulations.
“Knowing your WHY is not the only way to be successful, but it is the only way to maintain a lasting success and have a greater blend of innovation and flexibility.” - Simon Sinek
I do not want to be a flash in the pan success for my students. I do not want to not replicate the meaningful learning that is happening for my students. I want to influence others and create a movement of empowered young people who use their voice to make an impact in their community. Knowing my WHY, I now have a tool of The Celery Test to make sure every decision I make, passes.
If you need to establish your passion, read this book. If you need to redefine why you are doing what you are doing, read this book. If you want to be a leader of a movement you believe in, read this book.
Start With Why
How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
By Simon Sinek (@simonsinek)
Part 1: A World That Doesn’t Start With Why
Chapter 1 - Assume You Know
Our behavior is affected by our assumptions.
Assumptions, even when based on sound research, can lead us astray.
Great leaders understand the value in the things we cannot see.
Chapter 2 - Carrots and Sticks
There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.
changing prices of products.
promotions that are complicated.
fear of something bad happening.
aspirations tempt us with the things we wish we had.
Peer pressure because we believe experts know more than we do.
Innovation is often confused with novelty
Not one manipulation breeds loyalty
Knowing you have a loyal customer and employee base not only reduces cost, it provides massive peace of mind.
When manipulations are the norm, no one wins.
Part 2: An Alternative Perspective
Chapter 3 - The Golden Circle
People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.
I believe in young people and their abilities to challenge the status quo to make our world a better place.
I believe your voice has unbelievable power and that each and every young person has a purpose and job to make this world a better place.
I believe adults, including me, haven't done a good job of teaching young people to find their purpose and to expand on their talents so that every door will be open to your future.
Not the Only Way, Just One Way
“Knowing your WHY is not the only way to be successful, but it is the only way to maintain a lasting success and have a greater blend of innovation and flexibility.”
- Simon Sinek
Chapter 4 - This Is Not Opinion, This Is Biology
Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
“We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what the believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us.” Pg 55
Gut Decisions Don’t Happen in Your Stomach
Limbic Brain controls feelings - trust and loyalty
Neocortex controls rational and analytical thought and language
Winning hearts and minds, not minds and heart - feelings then data
Great leaders and great organizations are good at seeing what most of us can’t see.
It’s What You Can’t See That Matters
Belonging to something bigger than you will drive people to make seeming irrational decisions
Chapter 5 - Clarity, Discipline and Consistency
It all starts with clarity.
If the leader (teacher) can not articulate WHY, why would anyone (students) know WHY
Discipline of HOW
HOWs are your values or principles that guide HOW to bring the cause to life
Articulating our values as verbs gives us a clear idea
- Not integrity but “always do the right thing”
Consistency of WHAT
With consistency people will see and hear, without a shadow of a doubt, what you believe.
Golden Circle has to be balanced. Everything said and done has to be what you actually believe.
Authenticity is a requirement to sustained success.
The Right Order
“After you have clarity of WHY, are disciplined and accountable to your own values and guiding principles, and are consistent in all you say and do, the final step is to keep it all in the right order.” Pg 69
Starting with the WHY is what inspires people to act
If You Don’t Know WHY, You Can’t Know HOW
Differentiation happens in WHY and HOW you do something.
Manipulation and Inspiration Are Similar, but Not the Same
Both manipulation and inspiration get into the limbic brain and affect our emotions and feelings.
Doing Business Is Like Dating
Start with the WHY, and all the WHATs, the tangible benefits, serve as proof of the WHY
Three Degrees of Certainty
The ability to put WHY into words provides the emotional context for decisions.
When you know your WHY, the highest level of confidence you can offer is, “I know it’s right.”
Part 3: Leaders Need A Following
Chapter 6 - The Emergence of Trust
WHY is just a belief, HOWs are the actions we take to realize that belief, and WHATs are the results of those actions —— All three in balance builds trust.
Culture is everyone working towards the same goal - all win or no one wins
The Only Difference Between You and a Caveman Is the Car You Drive
Different cultures aren’t good or bad, just different.
One place isn’t better or worse, just a better fit.
Culture is common beliefs and values.
Find people who have the same beliefs and values
Finding The People Who Believe What You Believe
“You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach the skills.” Herb Kelleher
Hire people who are already motivated and inspire them.
Give ‘Em a Cathedral
People working together with camaraderie and trust brings success.
These people all recognize they all need each other.
When Motivated by WHY, Success Just Happens
Story of the Wright Brothers and their belief in what flight would mean to all
Samuel Pierpont Langley had everything to be successful besides a WHY.
Innovation Happens at the Edges
“Great companies give their people a purpose or challenge around which to develop ideas rather than simply instruct them to make a better mousetrap.”
Companies[Teachers] with a clear sense of WHY tend to ignore the competition[naysayers], whereas those with a fuzzy sense of WHY are obsessed with what others are doing.
The Definition of Trust
The more trust the the more innovative someone would be willing to be especially with a safety net to fall back on
Real Trust Comes from the Things You Cannot See
Great leaders embody a sense of purpose that inspires those around them.
Trust comes when the values and beliefs are actively managed.
Passion comes from the feeling you are a part of something that you believe in, something bigger than yourself.
The Influence of Others
Opinions of people we trust matters.
Why should my students trust me?
Chapter 7 - How A Tipping Point Tips
Law of Diffusion of Innovations
- 2.5% innovators
- 13.5% early adopters
- 34% early majority
- 34% late majority
- 16% laggards
Goal is to find the influencers (innovators and early adopters) to help jump the chasm to the early majority
Refusing to Consider the Law of Diffusion Will Cost You
People will not buy the WHAT, they will buy the WHY.
Give Them Something to Believe In
It’s not the details of the plans that earn the right to lead, it’s the belief and the ability to communicate it clearly.
Give the people clarity, a way to explain how they feel.
Part 4: How To Rally Those Who Believe
Chapter 8 - Start With WHY, But Know HOW
Energy Excites. Charisma Inspires.
Energy is easy to see, easy to measure, and easy to copy.
Charisma is hard to define, impossible to measure, and too elusive to copy.
The Chosen Path
Regardless of WHAT we do in our lives, our WHY — our driving purpose never changes.
When the WHY is clear, more people will believe and raise their hands to declare, “I want to help!”
Amplify the Source of Inspiration
Flip the Golden Circle on its side to see it as three-dimensional
This structure can be seen in all individual levels - leadership, Middle management...
I Have a Dream (and He’s Got the Plan)
Attract the innovators and early adopters
Every tangible demonstration that the vision can in fact become reality, the more-practical minded majority starts to take interest
When a dream becomes provable and tangible reality...things really get moving
Those Who Know WHY Need Those Who Know HOW
Every WHY-type needs a HOW-type to be successful, it is not true the other way, HOW-types can be successful without a WHY-type
Vision statement - WHY
Mission statement - HOW
Build a Megaphone That Works
A microphone alone is only clutter
A message without a microphone will not have the impact on the audience needed
Need both the message to be heard by the ones who can have an impact on the movement.
Say It Only If You Believe It
Exploring your WHY and explaining it to others will put you in a position to be held to a high standard
Starting with the WHY will allow for repeated successes
All Movements Are Personal
Those who believe will keep the movement moving forward
Chapter 9 - Know WHY. Know HOW. Then What?
My WHY is to actively question the status quo and for empowering each individual
Tell people this.
Speak Clearly and Ye Shall Be Clearly Understood
The Limbic brain is the WHY and HOW, the Neocotex brain is the WHAT and what can be explained with words
Chapter 10 - Communication is Not About Speaking, It’s About Listening
A logo can take on a bigger personal meaning if it connects to the WHY
The Celery Test
Best practices are not always best.
Filtering your decisions through your WHY will allow you spending less time, money and stress when a decision needs to be made.
This test is to scale. Anyone making a decision needs to apply the Celery Test to make sure it shows the why.
The More Celery You Use, the More Trust You Earn
The more consistent the decisions made according to your WHY, the more trust others can have in your product/work.
In Violation of Celery
When a clear WHY is known, violations of the Celery Test will be easily seen and felt.
Part 5: The Biggest Challenge Is Success
Chapter 11 - When WHY Goes Fuzzy
Being Successful vs Feeling Successful
There is something to be said when you can reach your goals and become wildly successful yet feel like you have lost your WHY
Achievement vs Success
Achievement comes when we pursue and attain WHAT you want
Success comes when you know WHY you want it
Chapter 12 - Split Happens
Passion without structure will lead to failure
Structure needs passion to grow
The Biggest Challenge Is Success
The WHAT and WHY need to be parallel in order for everything to make sense
What Gets Measured, Gets Done
How do I incentivize pushing the status quo?
How do I incentivize taking creative risks?
How do I incentivize student responsibility?
Good Successions Keep the WHY Alive
Successors have to embody the WHY in order to carry on the vision
Apply the Celery Test to see if the WHAT and HOW match with the WHY
When the WHY Goes, WHAT Is All You’ll Have Left
When people are clear on your WHY they will understand and accept the decisions made if they pass the Celery Test.
What people perceive will drive the trust of those decisions
Part 6: Discover Why
Chapter 13 - The Origins of WHY
Challenging Question: How can you challenge the status quo to impact others in a positive way?
Essential Question: Is it right to challenge the status quo if you know people will be injured as a result of the challenge?
What are the sacrifices that will need to be made to be successful?
The Why Come From Looking Back
I need to move 180 degrees back to find my WHY, it comes from upbringing and experiences.
I Am A Failure
When there is a split between the WHY and the WHAT, a feeling of failure will happen
To Inspire People to Do the Things That Inspire Them
“If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.” - Henry Ford
Starting with the WHY doesn’t make you smarter, more connected...it’s gives you a balance and sets you apart from those around you.
Chapter 14 - The New Competition
If You Follow Your WHY, Then Others Will Follow You
When you compete against everyone else, no one wants to help you. When you compete against yourself, everyone wants to help you.
Mr. Dylan Wince
I am not a writer but I am writing.