In 2009, Simon Sinek gave what I think to be one of the best TED talks. The title of his talk was, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” His point is that people and companies must know “their why.” According to Simon here is how it works:
Most companies start with the WHAT and move you to the WHY. For example, in many of their advertisements you will notice that Dell Computers will tell you WHAT their computers are and then that is supposed to lead us to WHY we should buy their products. Watch for yourself:
In this commercial we learn that they are selling a Dell product, it’s the 13.7 series, it's a 2 in 1 device, it has a flip hinge, on and on they go telling us WHAT they are selling. I am not sure about you but this commercial does not motivate me to buy this product.
It is fascinating, however, that some companies flip that upside down. They focus on the WHY and it moves you to the WHAT.
Apple is wonderful at this and I believe it is one reason why they are tremendously successful. They start with the WHY and move you to the WHAT. Watch for yourself.
So, why OCA? Why did you choose OCA? I asked several parents and got some wonderful responses.
Why did you choose OCA to educate your child?
“Delaina and I chose OCA for our children because we want consistency for our children. The values and goals we hold in our family are the same values and goals shared by the teachers and administrators at OCA. What our children see and hear at home, they see and hear in the classroom. We believe that God has created the world and that through Jesus Christ he is redeeming the world. OCA gives us the comfort in knowing we have a partner in helping our children understand God's will for their lives as they grow to be part of his redemptive purpose in their lives and in the world. It's that consistency that continually draws us to the ministry of OCA.” -Jeremie Beller
Why are the fine arts at OCA important to your family?
“The arts are important to our family because there are so many valuable lessons to learn. Being on stage, even from a young age leading a song, prayer or flag salute in chapel teaches you public speaking skills and helps with confidence. As kids grow and find their creative side, being in a stage production or singing in a class choir teaches teamwork in a way that is easy for even the youngest to appreciate. We're incredibly blessed at OCA to have the arts as part of our weekly curriculum. In a world where arts funding is being cut in so many schools, we have found teachers who share their love to sing, paint, sketch, and bring productions to the stage for every age of our students.” -Christy Lentz
Why are athletics at OCA important to your family?
“Besides the obvious physical benefits of athletics and sports, we feel strongly that athletics at OCA help shape the character and faith of students. The young men and women learn valuable lessons in teamwork, submitting to authority, how to deal with adversity, how to handle success, and so much more. Athletics can be a very effective vehicle through which God shapes lives.” -Randy Roper
- Christ-centered education
- Positive relationships between teacher and student
- Biblical worldview
- Shaping my child’s life into Christ
- Partnership between home and school
- Cultivating character traits that last a lifetime
I wasn’t surprised when these phrases showed up in our parent’s responses to our WHY questions, because these are the the same reasons that many of us chose to be part of this community.
These are our WHYs.
Parents and teachers alike desire many of the same things for our children. So what do we do from here?
The direction of this school community and the choices we make for it are based on these same phrases that were pulled out of our parent’s quotes. And that’s how our WHAT was formed.
“The mission of Oklahoma Christian Academy is to assist the family and the Church in providing God-centered, Christian education for our students, so as to equip them to exercise Christian leadership in our world.”
It is so important that we remember our WHY, not only as a school but also as parents. And it’s even more important that we allow out WHY to determine the actions we take. Celebrate your children for the reason they make choices, not just for making the right choice. Encourage them to look more deeply into the WHY.
When we understand our why we are much more prepared to achieve the WHAT, the mission of our school. I hope you will join me, and our faculty and staff in achieving our mission.