If you’re familiar with Simon Sinek‘s Start with Why, then you’re familiar with his Golden Circle.
Your Why is at the core.
It’s wrapped in your How.
And the circle’s outermost ring is your What.
The pitch: Most companies pitch themselves outside in (What you do, How you do it, Why you do it). But working inside out (Why, How, What) is far more inspiring and effective.
Because the model is so simple, yet powerful, Sinek’s 2009 presentation at TEDx Puget Sound is one of the most viewed TED videos ever (see it).
Here are two non-competitive, side-by-side looks at (and listens to) the same song producing a dramatically different customer experience. And what that means for your business.
The What: the same notes played and the same lyrics sung in the same order.
The Why and How: wonderfully distinct musical outcomes.
When you were a child, were you commanded to clean your room by a parent?
Compelled to clear the table or clean the dishes after dinner?
Forced to fold the laundry?
Told to take the garbage or recycling outside to their proper bins?
Sure! These were demanded of me decades ago and our son is asked and expected to do the same today.
These are basic and shared responsibilities to maintain a nice, clean, and healthy home.
- Basic instructions.
- Clear expectations.
- Regular supervision.
- Performance standards.
- Threat of punishment.
- Occasional, necessary enforcement.
Had it not been for all the direct, parental attention, I may never have built the habits and skills necessary to do so as an adult. Playing outside with friends or firing up a video game console was far more attractive. Someone else can run the vacuum cleaner!
And we’ve all had that sibling or roommate who didn’t live up to basic standards of health and cleanliness. Too self-interested. Insufficiently motivated. Plays by their own rules.
But the consequences are shared. And, at the end of the day, someone has to clean up.
And so it is with environmental protection.
Sustainability progress. Climate resilience. Resource efficiency.
Driven by local leadership, these things are happening in hundreds of US cities every day.
If you’re discouraged by the climate denial of our President-elect and his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, restore your faith with two quick stories here.
One is from Grand Rapids, Michigan and the other’s from Palm Beach, Florida.
When our son was born several years ago, I thought very much about the kind of person we’d like him to be. Which qualities and characteristics to cultivate. What “right” living looks like.
From that motivation came an elementary system to share with him – basic guidelines for “right” living. It had to be simple, but scalable. Approachable for a child, but meaningful enough to grow with him into adulthood.
The result: The Three Most Important Things You Can Be.
Review them, see a fourth addition, consider other systems, and share your own thoughts.
Give it a look for yourself. And consider its applications in parenting.
Contaminated drinking water. Right in our own backyard. And probably in yours, too.
Unregulated, toxic chemicals linked to cancer in our wells. Perflourinated chemicals (PFCs), specifically.
Ever persistent, PFCs don’t break down and they don’t boil off.
Prolonged PFC exposure is linked to:
- developmental damage to fetuses during pregnancy
- low birth weight
- accelerated puberty and distorted bones
- kidney and testicular cancer
- liver tissue damage
- impaired production of antibodies
- cholesterol changes
That PFCs are in our drinking water begs questions. I’ve got 3.
Like all kinds of life, mosses have something to teach us about right living.
Basically a lift from an outstanding conversation on On Being with Krista Tippett titled “The Intelligence in All Kinds of Life,” this post celebrates the modesty and sustainability of one of the simplest and oldest kinds of life on Earth.
The guest, Dr Robin Wall Kimmerer, is a bryologist (expert in moss) and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. This balance of scientific knowledge and indigenous knowledge provided an interesting backdrop for the entire conversation.
“Science asks us to learn about organisms. Traditional knowledge asks us to learn from them.” – Kimmerer to Tippett
As I often do, I heard this episode while hiking. And, as I often do, I was hiking with my camera.
The conversation between Tippett and Kimmerer immediately changed my typical shooting subjects and perspective. Rather than going wide and grand, I shot everything with my 45mm f1.8 (90mm equivalent) for fun and challenge and did so low to the ground.
Here: a few choice quotes from and shot-while-listening images inspired by Kimmerer and Tippett. And a new respect for modest mosses.