Simon Sinek, the speaker, gave this presentation in 2009, and it was posted to TED.com in 2010. He starts by drawing three circles that look like a target. The innermost circle is labeled "Why?" The middle layer is is labeled "How?" and the outer layer is labeled "What?"
Simon believes that understanding why we do the things we do is significantly tougher than explaining how or what it is we do. He also finds the question of why to be more compelling. He points to prominent companies advertising their wares. For instance, he says that Apple tells consumers, foremost, why they should buy Apple products. At Apple, they "think different" and create machines that are easy to use. He contrasts that with Tivo, which eschews the why for the what, and simply informs consumers about the features of its products.
Simon further considers the vagueness of the question of why by pointing out how we often use our emotions to arrive at decisions. We cannot really even articulate why -- it's just a gut decision. He believes that those who can successfully communicate the reason why are people who can get others to believe in their vision.
Of course this extends beyond ad campaigns. Simon believes that businesses thrive when everyone believes in what's being accomplished. His contention is that if you seek talented people to do a job, you'll get people who will perform acceptable work for the money. However, if you hire talented people who also believe in what you're doing, their passion will lift the entire operation. He adds that people follow causes far more readily than they follow individual leaders.
In his response to Simon's presentation, Nigel considers the question of why he uses and advocates for IBM Power Systems and POWER8 processors.
* We believe server sprawl means a future in which we drown in small computers taking 80 percent of the world’s electricity to run their idle loops 80 percent of the time.
*We believe we have got to build a vastly better computer to avoid that.”
Again, I encourage you to take a few minutes and view Simon's TED talk. Then you may want to ask yourself, as an AIX pro, why? Why are you passionate about AIX and Power Systems? Why were you excited about upgrading from POWER6 to POWER7+ processors, and why are you excited for POWER8 to come out?
For that matter, why do you even do the job you do? Is it strictly for the paycheck, or is there a broader reason for your career choice? Does having access to superior hardware and tools give you a more positive outlook on your job? Does the opportunity to learn new things on a daily basis drive you (as it does me)? Why do you do what you do?