Simon Sinek is best known for the concept of “why” as detailed in his global best seller, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. I learned about the importance of discovering my “why” from Tom Krieglstein at the Pennsylvania College Personnel Association (PCPA) 2015 Annual Conference. As I sat through Tom’s presentation, I kept repeating the question over in my head, “What is the why behind your why?” I was able to answer the first part of that question; I want to help college students. Yet, I sat through the rest of Tom’s presentation trying to pinpoint the why behind my why. Four months later and ten weeks away from completing a student affairs graduate program, and I have finally discovered the why behind my why; Phi Sigma Pi (PSP) National Honor Fraternity. PSP is a gender inclusive national honor fraternity built on three main ideals: scholarship, leadership, and fellowship. This organization shaped my college years, along with influencing my career path. As I reflect on my experience, the three ideals have been present in my #sagrad experience.
Maintaining good academic standing is one part of the ideal of scholarship. PSP promotes lifelong learning outside the classroom; I want to help students discover the importance of a “life time learner” philosophy. Leadership is the second part of the tripod and providing students with the opportunity to understand core leadership skills is something I value. I want to support students in learning leadership techniques that will not only help them in their courses and co-curricular activities, but also in the working world. Fellowship is the final part of the tripod that focuses on building teamwork, friendships, and solidarity. I want to assist students in becoming engaged citizens by learning opportunities to establish collaborative relationships.
Working on the answer to the why behind your why can be a great opening line for #SAgrads on the #SAsearch. A deeper understanding of why you want to work in the profession provides a foundation for the common question, “why do you want this position?” Don’t worry, mid-level and senior student affairs professionals can use this concept too. They can remind themselves why they love the field and what drives them every day. I ask that you reflect on what is the why behind your why and comment below; I would love to hear from others!
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Podcast With Josie Ahlquist on Digital Identity, Social Media & Leadership