Simon Says

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This is the underlying idea in Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk. As part of our LDR200L course we watched this Ted Talk to gain a better understanding of the mindset of the people that follow us. Essentially, what Simon says during the Ted Talk, is that people don’t care about what you do, it’s about why you do it. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. After years of school, sports, and extracurricular activities this statement proves to be undoubtably true.

Partaking in these activities has given me a myriad of different people to follow and the people I follow the most passionately all have the same quality: they are passionate about what they do and they care about their followers. The intent behind the leader makes all the difference. A superior that doesn’t have their followers best interests in mind will never be followed very passionately. Having a coach, teacher, or advisor that is passionate about what they do inspires their followers just by their passion and how much they care. It is these leaders that are usually the most successful as well.

meme-friday-sinek This plays right into what Sinek was saying. In the example he used, with the Wright Brothers, he said Samuel Pierpont Langley was in it for the wrong reasons: he wanted the money and the fame. All the conditions were right, but he didn’t succeed. On the other hand, the Wright Brothers were driven because they believed they could change the course of the world. As a result, the people that worked for them, believed in their dream and followed with “blood, sweat, and tears” rather than just a paycheck. This statement is what sticks out most to me. If you work towards a cause passionately rather than something superficial, like money or fame, your followers will work for you-not for the money.

In conclusion, I agree with Sinek’s underlying idea in his Ted Talk. A leader without passion can hardly be called a leader at all. Why a leader does what they do makes all the difference not just in their effort, but in their follower’s efforts as well.


Does Leadership Come from a “Yes” or “No”

As part of our LDR200L course we were asked the question “does leadership come for a ‘yes’ or ‘no?'” When I first heard this I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret it. Is the question asking whether leadership comes from either a yes or a no, or is it asking if leadership comes from a yes/no decision or not? I interpreted it with the latter of the two: Does Leadership Come a Yes or No Decision?

I went back and forth on this topic for quite a bit before deciding yes, leadership does come from a yes or no. The reason I believe this is because at the end of the day the decisions that go into being a leader, and a follower, come down to yes or no’s. When I was thinking about this prompt I decided that leadership does come from a yes or no because of these decisions. For example, the biggest one that stuck out in my mind was that a follower has to make the decision yes or no decision on whether or not to follow. But there are so many more than just this decision. It starts with the leader deciding whether or not to take that first step, then the followers deciding whether of not they buy into what the leader is saying, and then decided whether or not to follow the leader with a million other decisions along the way.

Yes, leadership is an extremely complex thing and a ton goes into it. However, leadership doesn’t come from just a single yes or no-it comes from all the yes or no’s that are made. All too often we complicate things into being so complex that we can’t imagine all the possibilities and the potential decisions. However, this doesn’t need to be the case. Rather we can simplify our decisions into yes or no’s. Do we take the action, or not? Do we support this person, or not? These yes or no decisions, that we make everyday, make up who we lead, who we follow, and who we are.

As cool as the other side of the pillow!

One of the most influential sports anchors of all time was Stuart Scott. Scott was most known for his hip-hop style, new to sports, and his catch phrases, most notably “Boo-Yeah!” and “as cool as the other side of the pillow.” He was a truly a leader from the day he stepped foot on the ESPN studio. He led by the way he broadcasted, the way he inspired others, and by the the way he lived his life.

Stuart Scott was always so much more than an ESPN anchor: he was an icon. Referred to as a “groundbreaking broadcaster” by Rich Eisen, he brought an all new attitude to sports and changed sports commentating forever. He appealed to the African-American community like an anchor never had before. Despite the hate mail and at one point “ESPN officials asked him to consider dialing it back (Travis Waldron)” Scott refused, and continued his unique style. He continued to change sports commentating appealing to black and white audiences alike.

However, soon he became not just an icon for the new hip-hop style. He also became an icon for battling. In 2007 Scott was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer which he battled, on and off, until his battle ended on January 4th, 2015. His battle is what makes him the leader he is and the current event he continues to impact.

Stuart’s battle with cancer began in 2007 when he was rushed to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. After, he was diagnosed with cancer for the first time, and soon won the battle and went into remission. But this victory was only temporary as the cancer came back in 2011, and the a third time in 2013. The third time was different. He told Men’s Health “To be honest, I’m scared. I’ve always been afraid of cancer, but this time feels different. My confidence is shaken.”

But, before Stuart’s battle with cancer ended, in one of the most iconic moments of his fight, he received the Jimmy V Perseverance ESPY. But it wasn’t receiving the award was the iconic part-it was the speech he gave (below).

What makes Scott the great leader he was was not his revolutionary broadcasting style, although that played a role. It was that others are inspired to follow him and feed off of his energy and the strength he displayed throughout his his battle just as they were years ago.  For someone to go through what he went through and maintain his spirit, his joy, and his motivation and will to continue to battle people will naturally follow him. In the speech Scott says “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” These words along with how he lived his life are what make hime a leader.

Scott inspired thousands in their battle with cancer as well as impacting countless more through promoting the Jimmy V cancer research foundation. That’s what I admire most about him: he’s been through it all. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks it. That is such a crucial characteristic for leaders-to lead by example and understand what your followers are going through. Cancer has touched everyone in someway or another and Scott’s work for cancer research impacts everyone.

Stuart Scott touched, and continues to touch, countless lives. From his revolutionary broadcasting style to his battle with cancer, Stuart Scott was a leader in all aspects of life and truly was as cool as the other side of the pillow. His impact continues to be felt and will be for years to come. On behalf of myself and others everywhere: Thank you, Stuart Scott.