Start with WHY

I’ve been adding items to my blog idea file throughout the holidays and this one rose to the top. Actually, it surfaced like a submarine executing an emergency blow.

The cornerstone of my work is my belief that architects are being summoned to recover the passion that first beckoned them to our profession, and that they should leverage that passion to change the world…literally. That is WHY I am doing this. And WHY is where I continue to find my passion for this work. The challenge is the temptation to tell you WHAT I do, or HOW I do it, instead of beginning with WHY I do it.

This TED talk by Simon Sinek does a wonderful job of explaining the critical importance of starting with WHY. It is 18 minutes of inspiration and I’ve watched it a half dozen times since my good friend Sam showed it to me a week ago. Like all great stories it has helped me clarify my own understanding of motivation, execution and success. Thank you Sam!

Sinek  is a marketing consultant known for developing “The Golden Circle,” a model based on human decision-making that describes how to inspire people to buy or support any product, service, company or idea. The concept is as applicable to architecture as it is to Apple Computer, the Wright Brothers, or Martin Luther King, Jr. The diagram above is my own interpretation of Sinek’s Golden Circle. I’ve always loved the notion of the world as a big blue marble and this way of looking at Sinek’s diagram adds a third dimension with WHY at the core. I think it makes more sense to those of us who work in a world of space, light and form.

I welcome your comments.