Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The 'why' of what we do.

Last night I listened to a TED talk by Simon Sinek on what separates remarkable leaders from “those who lead”.  His main idea was that leaders are able to sell people on not just the what or the how, but the why of their actions. He built his case upon the fact that motivations appeal to the most basic brain structures that determine behavior (for more on that just listen to the TED talk). If I haven’t already lost you, the point is what distinguishes someone who leads from a leader like Martin Luther King, is the ability to communicate and attract people to the motivation of why you do what you do.  This is a valuable nugget for any organization, business, or ministry to reflect on.  Are you clear on your why is? Are you partnering with others who share the same why?

When I reflect on my time with Eastern University, there was one core motivation we as leaders all shared, and sharpened within each other.  We all desired to build the kingdom of God.  The kingdom of God made sound broad, elusive and too abstract, but track with me a bit.  As Christians we were all serving on different continents, in different cultures, and connected to different communities.  We were studying very large broad topics of organizational management and community development.  Despite the macro diversity of our positions, interests and invested time; we could recognize that there are underlying themes of how God desires all members of his kingdom, his family, to cooperate as one unit. We were all convinced that God hates poverty, and injustice. We also held the shared belief that God had called us to act against these forces of destruction in the world. 

 Our time with Eastern was an opportunity to become professionals better equipped with intellectual reason to play our part. With our main focus on how to advocate for and alleviate the suffering of those poverty, we discussed and hashed out what our roles are as individuals, as leaders of organizations, and members of a greater global body of Christ.  The most encouraging gem that became polished over two years of study, is that no matter how overwhelming, and hopeless the struggle against poverty becomes, when you are leading under the authority of God, there is an entire kingdom of resources and support that is also fighting alongside you.  Our education served to rigorously equip us intellectually and spiritually to engage in the global fight against poverty.

If any of these ‘whys’ resonate with you, please consider supporting the why of African students seeking to get a Masters in Organizational Leadership or International Development.  Many of these students desire to be equipped to play their role in the fight against poverty, but still need partnership to overcome financial barriers to studies.  As a self-funded climber, along with my colleagues, we are acknowledging a shared motivation to build the kingdom and continually build leaders to engage in the struggle against poverty. We are not only acknowledging this common ground but choose to partner with those who share our why.

For more information on how to financially give, please visit our website.