Episode 160: Start with Why – A Conversation with Bill Lyle

January 12, 2021

What is Your Why?

While articulating your why can feel like a big question, it’s the fuel that propels leadership. Explore with Bill Lyle, Lead Pastor of Peace UMC in Pickerington, Ohio how starting with why has propelled his leadership. 

What’s the Motivation Behind Your Purpose

Bill offers insight about starting with why that can’t be overlooked. Knowing your why is about motivation. 

For example, if you say making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the church, community, and world is your purpose, why is this important to you? Does it start with your calling? Perhaps it is about being a follower of Jesus and understanding that disciples make disciples. In short, if you want to get to the heart of your why, explore your motivation. 

Listen as Bill shares a story about assisting at his daughter’s swim team practice. His understanding of his why was central to not only to finding joy in the midst of helping but in understanding his purpose for volunteering his time. 

Leading Others to Focus on an Organizational Why

Then, explore how an organizational why is connected to a team’s why. Listen for five ways Bill helps his team live into the why of the church. It begins with calling, continues with focus, learning to say no, leading by example, and sharing stories of where your why is coming to life. 

If you’re not familiar with Simon Sinek’s Start with Why, add it to your reading list. Or, watch the Ted Talk by the same name.  

In both the book and video, Sinek talks about concentric circles of why, how, and what, to illustrate that organizations who are making a difference start with why, not how, and certainly not what. 

Courageous Leaders Start with Why

You’ve been practicing for 10 months how what you do and how you go about doing them are different. Our hope is that you’ve stayed focused on your why.

When you know your why you’ll be better able to lead with courage. From making difficult decisions to learning how to use different mediums, courageous leaders are adaptable leaders. 

Action Steps

We trust that what Bill shares with you has you thinking. Maybe you even hit pause a few times to consider what he was sharing. Here are a few questions to consider, to take action on what you’ve heard in this podcast:

The first thing that I’m going to ask you to do is more of an action than a question. 

  1. Identify a few people in your circle of influence who need to listen to this podcast so that you can have a conversation together about either your collective or your individual why. That’s more of a task than it is a question. So here’s the question: How is your why informing every decision that you make? 
  2. What story about leading from your why can you share with others? In other words, how is your why making a difference in your life, in your leadership? 
  3. Ask the people that you were leading this question:  What “why” are you seeing in my leadership?
  4. What are you doing as a leader to connect people to your “collective why”?