Do you know what your ‘why’ is?
In 2007, Pastor Mark Hands told me a story about a trip he’d had to Disneyland. On this trip, he had noticed that all the employees were smiling and helpful, and seemed quite purposeful. He eventually asked why this was so. The ride attendant replied with a single statement: “My purpose is to ensure you have the best day of your life.” It turns out that this was Disneyland’s overarching purpose statement. By having a purpose statement, it provided a singular focus off which every decision and action could be hung. If what they were doing wasn’t working towards creating the best day of the visitors’ lives, then it needed to change. Ps Hands’s challenge to me was then to focus on what my purpose was and to develop a purpose statement to match.
In 2014, Simon Sinek presented a TED Talk (http://bit.ly/purposeandwhy) in which he discusses what makes some companies successful, while others struggle or fail. He discovered (and wrote a book about it) a principal he calls The Golden Circle. He suggests that the key differentiator is that the successful companies and individuals have a crystal clear core belief, and this is what they start with – their ‘why’. They then move through the ‘how’ to the ‘what’, but the most important part is their ‘why’.
My ‘why’ crystalised back in 2007 and has guided my all my decisions and actions, through the variety of roles I’ve held over the years. It’s pretty simple: I’m about developing young leaders of character, who will influence their community for God and for good. I hope to be able to explore over the next few articles, how this is guiding what we’re doing at my current school. Who knows, some of it may be applicable to yours as well.
Going further than that though, I believe it’s important that we all – staff, parents and students – spend time considering what drives us, what God’s purpose for us is, and to consider our ‘why’. Understanding that will help each of us stay on track and make choices that bring us closer to what God has in store for us.
So, what’s your why?