You Have to Ask Yourself WHY by D. Helmer

by Dona Helmer

If you have never experienced a presentation by Joyce Valenza you deserve to check out something by her in SLJ or see her blog (

 I had the opportunity to see her present at midwinter and I was blown away. In fact, I am still mulling over her words.

Valenza had recently read a book by Simon Sinek titled Start with Why: How Great leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.  The essence of the book is that people do not buy what you do; they buy why you do it. Think about Steve Jobs—he didn’t just set out to create a computer, the reason he set out with Apple is to create something beautiful and usable. People bought into that. This all leads into developing a Growth Mindset.  

Valenza showed part of a TED Talk by Sinek that covers the points in his work. She encouraged us to consider our “whys”. She got me thinking about what are my “whys?”  What would I do if I could? What happens if I don’t do it? 

Let me conclude by saying that I am buying Sinek’s book because I want to team it with a book I read recently titled Slow Food Revolution: A New Culture for Eating and Living by Carol Petrini.

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