There’s no doubt in my mind, Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and his philosophy behind ‘Starting with the why is one of the most genuinely powerful theories I have ever come across. Its simplicity and ease to understand, but complexity in its personalisation is nothing short of incredible. I have continued to use and model establishing a clear ‘why’ for over twelve months, revisiting it with people, discussing elements that may have changed as they continue on their journey, underpinned by strong modern learning practice. As the workload builds and the general busyness of school life begins to take over, how often do we really stop, take a minute and remind ourselves why we do what we do?
Just last week, I invited a staff to begin thinking and sharing their why. Using The Golden Circle and Sinek’s amazing TED Talk we began to explore people’s motivations and drivers. Some sat patiently listening and digesting the views of their peers; others launched into questioning why they got out of bed that morning, what they wanted to bring to their classroom, and what they wanted their students to aspire to. And quickly they fell into the ‘what’ trap: What they wanted as outcomes, what they believed their purpose and role was. Of course, they could see that the role of the educator has evolved away from the knowledge brokering sage on the stage and one of a guide on the side, but their underpinning elements still revolved around what they wanted their students to achieve. So we stopped. And, I asked them the question again, ‘Why do you get out of bed in the morning?’ I followed it up with, ‘Do you think the why has changed, and is that okay?’ The silence was breathtaking. A room of highly-skilled educators reflecting on why they chose to teach as a profession and then asking whether it was the same reason as they continued, some into their third decade. And it struck them. Like a firework that lights up a cold winter night… Our why can evolve!