I was recently reading about Thomas Pierpont Langley, the man who set out in the 1900’s to be the first man to pilot an airplane. Have you heard of him? Most of you would probably haven’t. But you have probably heard of Orville and Wilbur Wright. They were just a few hundred miles away working on their own flying machine. Thomas Pierpont Langley was highly regarded, and well educated including working as a mathematics professor at Harvard and had resources like no other, yet the Wright brothers didn’t have the resources and were able to pull off the unthinkable of flying the first airplane on December 17, 1903. What was the difference? It was all about a cause. Thomas Pierpont Langley was looking to be the first, while the Wright brothers were looking to change the world. It was their WHY!
We have been reading the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek in our CLIMB book club this month, and there are lots of stories that have similar context, like Martin Luther King when he said “I have a dream” (not I have a plan) to start a civil rights movement, and Present Kennedy when he shared his vision to put a man on the moon. You see, there are leaders, and there are those that lead. Those that lead inspire us every day.
Who are you inspiring as a leader in the new year? What is your cause? One of my favorite Ted Talks is “The Golden Circle” by Simon Sinek in which he shares the importance of knowing and starting with WHY. Watch it now, share with your team! Well worth the 5 min investment.
Many times, we read articles, watch video, and check off the box… but don’t apply, we just keep moving. However, today I want to challenge you as a volunteer leader to STOP and think about your why as a team and as an individual. Write it down. It’s your purpose! When our purpose and careers align, life is just better. We are positive, we are optimistic, we are more resourceful, we have empathy, we have more energy, and on and on and on… It’s key to success. It’s when we believe, really believe in what we do that makes impact, makes us more authentic, and takes us to places we never dreamed.
At Texas SHRM, our WHY is “Connecting and Supporting SHRM chapter leaders to elevate the HR profession through education, advocacy, and leadership development!
In my volunteer role as a Texas SHRM Assistant State Director of Leadership Development, my why is to help grow our council members and chapter leaders to help them grow our SHRM chapter in communities across the great state of Texas! Why? Because I believe it is bigger than a volunteer role, but a cause to change a community, the workplaces and ultimately people’s life!
But we must believe in our cause… why we are here. …and I believe that we can all make a difference! What’s your why as a volunteer leader? Start brainstorming with your team. Together, we can change the workplace and the world!
Quote of the Day: “People don’t buy what you buy, they buy why you do it.” Simon Sinek
Call to Action: What’s your WHY? Watch the golden circle video with your board and write down your why. Start sharing and build as you go. You will inspire from the moment you begin!
Help us in 2021… Have ideas to share or stories that have made impact in your chapter? If so, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org for a future “MOMENTUM” feature!
Texas SHRM Mission Connecting and Supporting SHRM chapter leaders to elevate the HR profession through education, advocacy, and leadership development.
Author: Bruce Waller