Byron's Babbles

Why Baby Why?

Posted in Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on September 23, 2010

You won’t find any flashy pictures with this post just an important lesson that I have learned, and it is starting to rub off on those around me. Ever since Kevin Eikenberry recommended Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why (2009) my decision making and total thought process has been changed forever. In the book, Sinek talked about why the Wright brothers were the first to flight over the better funded, more educated Samuel Pierpont Langley. It was because they knew their why – “develop a technology that would change the world. Only the Wright brothers started with Why” (p.3).

So “why” this post? In the last week I have had four separate occasions in meetings, or even in the ride back with a group from a meeting in Chicago when someone either said, “there’s Byron’s Why,” or “where’s Byron’s Why?” As much as I would like to take credit for this, I can’t, but it might just be the most important piece of professional development I have had in the last year. If we have our Why in check we are able to move ourselves, our schools, our businesses, and any other organization we are involved in toward a vision of the future that we might not even know exists yet (Sinek, 2009).

Today’s Harvard Business Review Tip of the Day – “Create a Simple Strategic Principle” further illustrates my point. We are faced every day with many trade-offs with competing resources in both our personal and professional lives. Our Why gives us an accurate litmus test for making our decisions.

When you are faced with a decision today, and you will be, ask yourself what is the WHY.