Today, I happened to see a short twitter exchange referring to Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. The tone of the tweets inspired me to follow-up on this idea. So I watched the TED talk.
What a great concept! It makes so much sense. For leadership, business, it is all about why we do something, rather than what we do. People buy our story, product, perspective because of the belief behind the product/action/strategy, rather than the product/action/strategy itself.
When I think about this idea in the context of educational leadership, it makes a great deal of sense. The principals and school heads, and even department chairs, who have proved to be the most inspiring for me, are the ones that start with the “why”.
A principal at my last school was a master of this. He even managed to inspire his teachers for parent conferences, by talking about our partnership with parents, why we do this, before moving into practicalities. I think also my current principal uses this technique somewhat: she always prefaces her decision by a belief or reason statement. Even our schools’ mission statements follow the same rule: “This is what we believe, so come and try our school out.” Practicalities about programs and facilities come after this.
So where does this leave me in my leadership journey? I think I have to remember that decision-making is about adhering to the school mission, strategic plan, and our beliefs about education. I also need to articulate this, clearly and quite emphatically, before moving on to communicate the plan of action.