Why "Start With Why"

People don't buy what you do they buy why you do it.
What you do simply serves as the proof of what you believe.

- Simon Sinek

"In 2009, Simon Sinek released the book Start With Why -- a synopsis of the theory he has begun using to teach others how to become effective leaders and inspire change"—important skills for any businessperson. Last fall he gave a TED talk that was just posted on-line. (TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.)

Sinek's ideas sound simple but that are herd to put into practice.
In the video linked above he discusses the biological challenges that form the way we think. Most often we present an idea, be it a sales pitch, a speech, or anything else from "what" rather than "why."

UST has a great "why" in our powerful and concise mission:

Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.

Similarly, UST's Opus College of Business mission: to educate highly principled global business leaders. These are reasons to believe in UST.  But often we end up talking about program features and glaze over these important principles.

Presentation Zen talks about remembering the why in communication:

The Why is were we should start almost all projects... If you think about it, we don't ask Why enough. "Why am I spending loads of money and time on a college education?" Or "Why do I really want to pursue that job or why am I sticking with this one?" Thinking deeply about the Why is not an abstraction; it's fundamental. In life, and in business, we spend all our energy thinking and talking about the what and the how, complaining about what we don't have and what we'd do if we did. We rarely spend time thinking deeply about the why.

Understanding why, is a surefire way to become a more effective leader. I highly recommend watching Sinek's TED talk, and will leave you with one of his final thoughts on leadership:

There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority. But those who lead inspire us. Whether they're individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead not because we have to but because we want to.