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Friday, July 29, 2011

Why We Do What We Do

Written by Jim Larkin

I recently had the occasion to view a “TED” lecture. It was delivered by Simon Sinek, author of the book “Start with Why.” In a nutshell, Sinek distinguishes between “Leaders” and “those who Lead.” Leaders, Sinek says, hold positions of power or authority, those who lead inspire. We follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for their sakes, but for our own. And what inspires? Knowing the “Why” of what we do, not just the “What.”

Take a moment to think about why you do what you do. If you’re answer is to help point students in the right direction, think more deeply. Helping students find direction is what you do, it is the outcome. Why do you help them find direction? I believe you do it to help them become happy, satisfied, and content (or whatever your bottom-line is) in the direction you help them find. Sure you’ll feel good in five years when that “lost” student comes back into your office to thank you for helping them find a job/career because now they are making a lot of money and are climbing the corporate ladder. How much better will you feel when that same student walks into your office and says thanks because you helped them find job satisfaction; not because they make a lot of money or they are progressing, but just because they like what they do, they are satisfied and content in their work life?

What you do may be to help your students understand what it means to be an ENTJ or an Artistic, Enterprising, Social (AES) individual. Why you do it is to help them be at peace with what it means to be an ENTJ or AES individual. Why you do what you do is to inspire your students to be better at being themselves, to find the joy in their lives and to find a job that won’t push that joy down, make them suppress it inside, or have to find it somewhere else.

If you would like to view the Simon Sinek’s TED lecture, you can find it here. Find your “why” and let it ignite a fire in you to inspire your students to ignite a belief in themselves. You are the inspiration! Identify why you do what you do and it will inform the what of what you do.

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