By Jun Marfori
From Simon Sinek’s extremely popular youtube video entitled “How great leaders inspire action,” he shares that “There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us.”
Simon Sinek explains that these individuals start with the “Why,” often called their vision, and those who are inspired by such leaders take these leaders’ “Why” for their own. Ultimately, Sinek says, “Whether they are individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to.”
I opine that whether we are corporate or informal leaders, whether endowed with power or authority or none of those, but because of our nature of social beings, we inevitably encounter, interact and communicate with, influence, affect, each and every one, whose lives we come in contact with, albeit some briefly, others a life time. And ultimately our Why becomes manifest in who we are, and can, may, or will, touch the lives of these individuals. If chosen and lived out well, others can take this as their Why and live intentional lives in pursuit of this; not for us, but for themselves.
For those among us Christian faithful, who just celebrated this significant season of Advent and Christmas, perhaps we can take a moment to reflect on the character of St. John the Baptist, a much-awaited child, conceived in very advanced age of both father Zechariah and mother Elizabeth. His birth, though not with pomp or gaiety, marks the beginning of the journey and a life of genuine singular purpose, to point people to be renewed, transformed, and ready to follow the soon-to-be-born Jesus. St. John’s “Why,” was to lead people to the Lord; for that reason, He was born, for this He lived and dedicated his life, for this noble purpose, would his life come to an end.
Regardless of our faith expression or denomination, we can use the season of expectant waiting, or, another year ending and to herald a new year of fresh beginnings, and look inside ourselves and truly reflect, on our recent past, and on our path forward.
As a Leader, as an individual, as a social being, as one with the capacity and faculties to interact with others, how have I been, and what mark have I left behind in this year that is so soon ending? How have people become as a result of their interactions with me? What were they before we had an encounter and dialogue, and what were they after such a coming together? What was my “Why” and how did this manifest in our encounter, and are they better off as a result? Or less than what they were, are, or can or could have become?
As I look to this opportunity with new beginnings, unknown adventures, and twists and turns in my fresh 2019 journey, what ought to be my “Why?” How do I therefore influence others and those who look to me, those who hear my words, visibly see my actions, judge my intent and motives – so that my “Why” inspire them to become better, nobler, compassionate?
Will my “Why” lead them to greater contentment and genuine appreciation of their talents and gifts, a keener awareness of their potential and capacity, and in so doing, reach out as well to others, and become like “lamp stands” or beacons of hope and renewal, so that others may take this “Why” as well and be inspired to do more, be more, and give more?
May this season of grace be filled not only with the abundance of giftedness and joy, but equally with the realization that in our daily lives, our intentional focus on the life-giving “Why” can herald and inspire action in the lives of others. Let us live empowered lives, and dedicate these to empowering others as well.