By Michael L. Coates Sr., Esq.
Given I was born on the 4th of July, I sometimes take extra liberties (pun intended) with my July 4th message. J
I am going to give you a link that I encourage you to watch about true leadership, and then, paraphrase some of it. Then, tie it in to this wonderful 4th of July we celebrate.
Click and listen to the following about 20 minute message by Simon Sinek if you have the time: http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html. Don't worry if you don't have the time, I will give you the core as I experienced it.
This is on an idea called "The Golden Circle", with "Why", "How", "What" being the core. It explains why some people and movements are able to inspire, while others can't. It is a though-provoking talk by Sinek. For example, why was Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright Brothers successful where others weren't? Remember, others tried before them, others were more qualified, and others had more access to money and experts and media.
Because they were each driven by a cause ... a "Why".
People don't buy into "what" you do, or "how" you do it ... but "why" you do it. Your average Joe goes about life talking to others in the order of "what" they do, "how" they do it, and only on occasion saying "why" they do it. Apple, MLK, and the Wright Brothers each did the opposite. The really successful companies and people do it from the inside out. Meaning, they start with "Why" they do it, "Why" they believe as they believe, and once you on the other end "get it" on the "Why" side, the "how" you do it and "what" you do reinforces that "Why".
This approach allows you to get across very complicated or even just large amounts information to others in a simplified manner, because once you have them convinced and believing in the "Why", the "how" and "what" is easy to comprehend. If you do it the reverse order, you complicate and confuse people. They just won't "get it".
So think of your task in life, whether personal or business, as educating others on "Why". People will join us, buy from us, listen intently to us because of "Why" we are doing this. The "what" and "how" serve to only prove what we (or now they) believe. If you get the "Why" across to the extent the other person also believes, your level of success will be unmatched.
This ties into The Law of Diffusion of an idea. We must get to 15% to 18% innovation to reach the tipping point that rockets the success to the adoption by the greater majority of whatever we are trying to achieve. The later majority won't try something until others try it first. The early adopters, however, are comfortable doing things ahead of others even though there are bumps and hiccups, because they are doing it for the "Why". Martin Luther King didn't give the "I have a Plan Speech" (the "what"/"how" approach), but the "We have a Dream Speech" (the "why" approach) for good reason. Because those who start with a "Why" get their message across, engage others to join with them, and in the end, win.
You adopt this, and your own success will rocket, as will whatever mission (the "why") you are on throughout life. How powerful can your children be if they adopt this?
So how does this talk by Simon Sinek tie into the 4th of July?
Why was America able to win its freedom from the British, when others couldn't?
It's very easy to take this holiday and our Declaration of Independence for granted. Back in 1776, this was one risky move. Can you imagine the guts and courage it took to declare to the King of England -- the strongest nation in the world at that time - and the huge army dominating much of the world -- that your rag tag bunch of colonists now are claiming that "as Free and Independent States, [we] have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do." Think about it. The people who signed that Declaration had to be thinking to themselves they were signing their death warrants. They did it anyway. Wow.
Even then, how were they able to enroll not just the group in that room, but, all those colonists in all those little towns scattered around the east coast?
John Adams wrote a letter of July 3, 1776, to his wife Abigail putting the celebration into his perspective:
"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not." (The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, Harvard University Press, 1975, 142).
John Adams is expressing how those patriots found the "why", putting it in that sacred document, in a way that enrolled a new nation. It wasn't the "how" will we beat the British, or "what" we will do in order to achieve it, but a focus first on the "why". That came after. And they were the early adopters who were willing to overcome the hurdles that came across the path, because of the focus on the "Why." That, my friends, won us a nation, a land of the free, a home of the brave, and a place where every man and woman, of ever race, creed, color and gender, of every size and shape, has the "opportunity" to be and do whatever their dreams can come up with (within the law of course, putting on my attorney hat J).
As John Adams put it, "to maintain this Declaration" will be at a "cost" via the "Toil and Blood" of our young men and women at home and abroad, in the military, law enforcement, and all those who protect that freedom. This includes those heroic 19 firefighters in Prescott, Arizona who just died protecting the life, liberty and property of others. They were doing it for the "Why", and that's what we need to remember them for and all those who put themselves in harm's way for us, to allow us to enjoy the freedoms we have and the BBQs we will be at during this 4th of July holiday. It is those same policemen, firemen and firefighters, doctors and nurses, military reservists, our men and women stationed here and around the world, who are the protectors of that Declaration by our Founding Fathers so long ago. It is because of them that we remain free. And the reason they do this, the reason we are proud to be Americans? ... it's all in our Why as a Country, as a Nation, and as a Community.
So let's not only remember the "Why" that got our country started, and upon which it has been built, but apply that to all aspects of our lives. When you start with the "Why", you can move the masses ... even a nation. Now go out and find YOUR "Why" in life, and move and inspire not just yourself but all those around you. Then, move to the "What" and the "How". Teach others, especially your children, to do that same. I respectfully submit that by this approach, you and those around you will achieve things others failed to do or only dream of. Dreams can come true. Just look at America!
I am proud to be an American!
Happy Independence Day everyone!
Michael L. Coates Sr., Esq.
(Note from Dr. Immerman: Arizona chiropractors have a "why." We LOVE chiropractic and will fight with our lives to keep chiropractic alive and available to the people who need it. Let's fight for our rights with the same spirit as those who fought the war for independence. Our ancestors were willing to go to jail to defend their rights to practice chiropractic. What are you willing to do to protect and preserve chiropractic? I know my answer: "ANYTHING." Happy 4th.)