I was recently part of a strategic planning group for a community organization where I serve on the Executive Committee. Before we starting formulating our mission, the facilitator showed us a video to set the context for the work that would follow. The video was a TED Talk from a man named Simon Sinek speaking about a concept called “The Golden Circle.” Having been through a few strategic planning sessions as well as being the author of a few academic and professional publications on the issue of strategy, I have to admit that I found his last name to be ironic because it perfectly expressed my attitude at the time. Yes, I was being a cynic.
“Not another silver-bullet model to fix all your strategic woes,” I said to myself immediately after seeing the title of the talk on YouTube. However, what transpired during that 15 minute video challenged me to rethink a lot of things. Check out the video below:
This talk really resonated with me in a powerful way. I found that you could not only apply this concept to strategy, but also to other areas of business as well as to other areas of your life. Really, think about it. The questions can range from the professional (Why are you in the career you are in? /Why do you work for your employer?) to the personal (Why do you live where you do?/Why do you get up in the morning?/Why are you who you are?).
Personally, I believe that if we applied this concept to ourselves, if we found our own”why”, it could lead to the development of personal mission statements. These mission statements, grounded in what we believe, could then inspire and guide all that we do in our professional and personal lives. Certainly I am not saying that doing this will guarantee that you will be successful in your life and career. In fact, it just might scare the hell out of you. However, wouldn’t it be nice to know what you are doing is consistent with what you believe?
So, I ask you…what’s your why?