Why? Again.

I’m back to being asked why again about 200 times a day.  Thus is the life of a parent of a two, almost three, year old.

I do not have a conversation with my little girl EVER these days without the question of “Why?” coming out of her mouth. While she was stalling on bedtime the other night, I began to take a tally and we got to 16 Whys? before I finally shut her down.  I couldn’t take it anymore!

But the irony of all of this is that I’m now reading Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. The key take away is:

“Great leaders are those who trust their gut. They are those who understand the art before the science. They win hearts before minds. They are the ones that start with WHY.”

I’ve watched my mom live this quote when I hear her speak to groups about the work she does leading a hospice organization. She always tells a story about a real patient that addresses the heart before the head and answers WHY she, and the people she leads, do what they do.

I wonder if I was a Why? fanatic questioner as a two, going on three year old?  Maybe my mom started by answering Why? for me before I even had to ask it.

So, think I’m going to try to switch my methods and cut my little one off at the path by answering her Why? before she even asks it.  And maybe we will all get to bed a little earlier, or maybe I’ll have to wait out her development and continue to answer Why for now, even when I’ve already answered it. But I know from the example I’ve had, I’ll start with Why as both mine grow. Hopefully this will help them to become leaders.

Do you start with why?

Mary Ila Ward

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