Start with WHY (Eng)

Recently, I have been reading a book named Start with Why by Simon Sinek.  It is A VERY GOOD BOOK!  For whatever and whoever you are, read it!  It can be applied to any organizations and individuals.  In his book, Simon talks about how start with WHY can be so salient and bring so much impact to our lives.  I have not yet finished reading the book, but I will do!  I am so eager to share this to everyone, so here I write some of my key notes as bullet points, based on what I have got by reading the book:

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  • Simon introduces what he calls as The Golden Circle, contains of WHAT, HOW, WHY.  He argues that all organizations in the world know WHAT they do, some can easily articulate HOW they do WHAT they do, but very few know WHY they do WHAT they do.
    WHAT refers to what we do in the organization/business or as individuals, such as “make computers”, “make mp3 players”, “make shirts”, and “share knowledge”.
    HOW refers to our actions to produce the products that differentiate us with others, such as “beautifully designed and user-friendly computers”, “people-centered” and “active-learning teaching strategy”.
    WHY refers to the cause, the belief, the foundation and fundamental reason behind all our actions.  Simon uses frequently the example from Apple.  Apple believes that it is remarkable to challenge the status-quo, to be different.  Other example could be from the Simon himself: to inspire others to do what inspire them.
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  • Simon argues that people who lead effectively are those inspire others so that people would willingly follow them, not because they have to, but because they want to.
  • To start with WHY is not easy, as the vast majority of organizations and individuals in the world tend to define and identify themselves with WHAT and HOW , rather than WHY they do what they do.  (if you don’t believe it, try to find your own examples)

You might have not heard of Simon Sinek and his work.  It is very interesting and useful, even in the context of education and school.  As for me, as an educator, I share the same value with Simon Sinek who comes from business world.  I see that reason, motivation, cause and belief are important for me and all educators (in fact, all human beings) to know and understand.  Our cause and belief will drive our actions.  And, this is what most of us have been told to, isn’t it?

If you have a good intention or motivation in your heart and mind, also that you will be able to do well in your actions.  Some examples:

  • If you are a leader who believes that people matter, you will do your leadership actions to benefit people development rather than jobs/tasks.
  • If you want to earn money as much as possible, odds are high that you will do whatever it takes to earn money as much as possible through any means and ways, without doing any meaningful actions or jobs.
  • If students are highly addicted with scores/marks on their exam/test papers, they will most likely do whatever they can to achieve the high scores/marks even if they cost their health or happiness.
  • If we have a belief that family comes first, so whatever we do in our actions will orient to the benefit of our family.

These are some examples only, however, you can find more from yourselves and others.  I believe this is very useful for us.  And remember, what I have shared to you here is not all yet.  Only some key messages, and Simon still has more.

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I believe that this will be very useful if you want to practice transformational education.  We can together transform individuals, organizations and even a nation with this. So.. Let’s START WITH WHY!

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