This post is part of my book Conspire To Inspire: Everything Is Awesome When You Are Part Of A Team
Michael Paine @strangerarray
Copyright © 2015 Michael Paine
All rights reserved.
I got my last promotion thanks to Simon Sinek who is “an unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together.”
The question in interviews about “why are you a good candidate for this position” is not uncommon but commonly overlook by the interviewees. Most people do not put a lot of thought into their answer and try to rush past it to get to the “real” questions with content and substance. I think this is the case because most people don't know why they are the best person for the position. Or do not believe in themselves and do not to want to face this reality of being inadequate in their own minds.
One day I was at my current job and helping a math tutor get to one of the areas he needed to go to help the students. I had been talking to him for a while and had explained to him how I was (at the time) certified to teach math but was not successful in finding a teaching position anywhere in the entire state of Texas. Then he asked me something I had never given much thought to. “Why should they hire you?” he said. Mentally my jaw dropped. How dare he insult me with this demeaning question? Why should they I thought? Because I am certified and therefore qualified to do so.
I gave him some vague non-answer.
But I did not forget this interaction and my underwhelming response. No wonder I never got hired I thought. I had no reason why anyone should have let me be a teacher. Taking this lesson to heart, when my work posted a chance for a promotion I knew what I had to do. Either through browsing YouTube videos or binging on Netflix, I came across Simon's video on “How great leaders can inspire action” about starting with “why”. The example he gives comparing Apple and Gateway and their product development made sense to me. It is the ability to have a position and complete the job duties that makes a person a good choice for a position. It is why they do what they do. Taking what to me seemed like a big risk, in preparation for my interview I focused intently on the “why”. When the interview came I had a bold and confident response to the “why” question and the rest is history.
Interestingly enough, during a training session on my new position, my manager decided to show us a video for inspiration. What video you ask? Simon Sinek's “How great leaders can inspire action”.
I don't believe in coincidences.
What I do believe in and want to tell you about now is why I do what I do. My why is Jesus Christ. I have been through some terrible times in my life. I had periods of dark days when death seemed like the best option. I had no hope and nowhere to turn to. Then through a long series of events I came to believe in Jesus. If you would like to know more please ask someone. Me. My wife. A local pastor. A neighbor you know who is a Christian. But please ask and I guarantee you that they will be excited to tell you more. They will especially appreciate that you asked them so that they are not forcing their beliefs upon you but getting your permission to share. It may even be something they have been praying for.
Mr. Sinek continued to impact me later through watching his talk on “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe.” In it he shares a great story of leadership from the U.S. Marines. He sums it up by saying, “We call them leaders because they will choose to sacrifice so that their people may be safe and protected and so their people may gain, and when we do, the natural response is that our people will sacrifice for us.”
As a leader myself, I always make sure that not only am I willing to do anything I ask others to do, but that I do it with them.
What is Simon doing now?
In 2014 Simon released his book Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. And is currently slated to speak at several events that can be found on his website startwithwhy.com.
Because you never know who you are going to meet...
*Introduction to Conspire To Inspire
*1 Bob Goff
*2 Mel Robbins
*3 Dale Carnegie
*4 Simon Sinek
*5 James Altucher
*6 Claudia Azula
*7 Stefan Sagmeister
*8 Zig Ziglar
*9 Theodore Roosevelt