Lead from the inside out.

In Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ is the idea that his Golden Circle corresponds with the brain. The “what” level of his circle corresponds with the neocortex, responsible for rational thought and language.

The inner “why” corresponds with the limbic brain, responsible for feeling and behavior. His example of primarily communicating our “what” explains that we understand other’s meaning, but we might not feel what they feel, and our behavior is not changed. 

But if we communicate our WHY, if we communicate from the inside out, we use emotion. We are connecting with our stakeholders on a more gut level, and we are able to capture their belief with our own.

In considering my innovation plan of constructing ePortfolios, I can make a similar comparison to the brain. My students will be constructing learning in each content area on their ePortfolio. They might be initiating that construction in those classrooms, with those teachers, divided from other teachers and content areas by classroom walls. But when they become more invested in the EP construction, and start collaborating more with their peers, they will be able to make connections that would not be possible without the ePortfolio. Much like a brain, constant connections will be formed anywhere and any time collaboration happens. As they construct their EP, they construct learning. They learn how to learn. 

And first, their teachers need to understand how to facilitate that construction and collective action. Communicating this why to them will create a sense of urgency, inspire belief, and change behavior. 

Why What How by Colby Clifford

Vital Smarts Video. (2015). How to change people who don’t want to change: the behavioral science guys. [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/9ACi-D5DI6A.

Dr. John Kotter. (2011). John Kotter – The heart of change. [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/1NKti9MyAAw.

Dr. John Kotter. (2013). Leading change: establish a sense of urgency. [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/2Yfrj2Y9IlI.

Sinek, S. (2009, September). How great leaders inspire action [Video]. Ted Conferences. https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en#t-546057

Tedx Talks. (2014). Why Ted Talks don’t change people’s behaviors: Tom Asacker at TEDxCambridge 2014. [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/W0jTZ-GP0N4.