Discussion: The Importance of “Why”

Post 1: Initial Post

Instructions

This posting should be a minimum of one short paragraph and a maximum of two paragraphs. Word totals for this post should be in the 100–200-word range. Whether you agree or disagree, explain why with supporting evidence and concepts from the readings or a related experience. Include a reference, link, or citation when appropriate.

Preparation

This discussion is based on a TED Talk by Simon Sinek, as well as drawing on readings from the Introduction to Management module. Fascinated by leaders with the capacity to inspire and have an impact in the world, Sinek has discovered some remarkable patterns in how these leaders think, act, and communicate. He wrote Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action to explore the idea of the “golden circle,” which is what he calls “a naturally occurring pattern, grounded in the biology of human decision-making, that explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages, and organizations over others.”

Watch Sinek’s TED Talk, below:

A text transcript of the video is available on the Ted website or access the text alternative for “Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action” (opens in new window).

For Discussion

Choose ONE of the following questions to respond to in your initial post.

  1. Think about the management roles discussed in your reading (leadership, informational, and decision-making). How might Sinek’s assertion that “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it” influence how a manager performs these roles?
  2. How do you think the four management functions of planning, organizing, leading, and controlling fit in with the ideas Sinek expresses in his talk? Which function do you think he would say is most important? Why?
  3. Sinek uses the Wright Brothers and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as examples of people who were successful because they believed deeply in what they were doing and communicated from the “why” portion of his “golden circle.” Can you identify any other examples of this type of leader? Explain your example, and define their “why.”

Posts 2 and 3: Respond to Classmates’ Posts

Instructions

After you have created your initial post, look over the discussion posts of your classmates and give at least two thoughtful responses to two different classmates (one per classmate).

A response posting should be a minimum of one short paragraph. Word totals for these posts should be in the 75–100-word range. Whether you agree or disagree, explain why with supporting evidence and concepts from the readings or a related experience. Include a reference, link, or citation when appropriate. The goal of your response posts is to extend discussions already taking place or pose new possibilities or opinions not previously voiced. Your goal should be to motivate the group discussion and present a creative approach to the topic.