Examining Our “Why”

[Gabrielle Rimmaudo is an intern with Phired Up and a Student Affairs graduate student at the University of South Florida. She does excellent work for Phired Up and is a serious up-and-coming student affairs professional]

By: Gabrielle Rimmaudo

In my current role I serve as a graduate advisor in the Office of New Student Connections at the University of South Florida. Currently in my office we have been exploring Simon Sinek’s TED talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” which can be found here . In Simon’s TED talk one of the main lessons the viewer learns is that, “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.” He shows this through his concept of the “Golden Circle”.

Through this Golden Circle, Simon tells us that every organization knows what they do, some know how they do that, but very few know why they do it.

When listening to this conversation and thinking of examples, my mind could only go back to thinking of our fraternal organizations and how we can continue to grow them by using this concept. By knowing our individual organization’s “why” we can continue to recruit more great, quality student leaders. When we know the why, we can continue to sell our groups to potential new members. This was something that I had done as my organization’s recruitment chair and did not even realize it at the time. In Simon’s TED talk he uses the company Apple as an example. Apple sells us the “Why”, they tell us how they believe they challenge the status quo, how they make their products beautifully designed and user friendly. They then introduce us the idea of buying a computer. We are more enticed to buy a computer as a consumer when we know the why.

By following this concept of working backwards from the why, we can apply this to our organizations. If we can articulate the why through recruitment, whether that be brotherhood, sisterhood, lifelong friendship, socially excellent leaders, whatever your why is, we can continue to recruit higher quality and quantities of students on our campuses.

Simon Sinek also said, “If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” By recruiting these leaders who believe what your organization believes, they are more likely to be invested in the group and more likely to give back to the organization. This may be through being an involved member, holding a chair position or even being the chapter president.

So with that, examine your WHY; what get’s your organization Phired Up, why do you exist, what did your founders intend, etc. By examining this, your organization will continue to recruit better and higher quality leaders.