Why Brentwood?

Friday, March 01, 2013 - By: Bud Patel

The following is the Head of School’s speech in its entirety, to the student assembly on Thursday, Feb. 28, on the topic of Why Brentwood.

Why Brentwood?

I'm not sure about you but my parents, my father in particular, emails me hundreds of articles, links and information.  As a retired 74 year old, he has plenty of time to scour various worldwide publications for "interesting" tidbits for his son. Surely, his boy in his free time would read, discover and ponder the wonders of the Internet.  As a dutiful child, I try to click through them but alas, my dog, PJ, takes up most of my free time.

My sifting, however, did discovery one nugget, a TED.com video by Simon Sinek. As an anthropologist, he discusses human motivation and decision making.  While some of it has a marketing slant, I found the questioning process… fascinating.  He calls it… the wisdom of the Golden Circle.

The outer ring – What – is the Product - the stuff we have.  For Brentwood, this is our course offerings, athletic options and artist pursuits.  

The next ring – How – is the Process - how we do … the what.  For Brentwood, it's the unique timetable of academics in the morning and the three alternating days of sport and art.

The inner ring – WHY – Sinek argues, is the most powerful – The Motivator - the real emotional driver of our decision making.  So at Brentwood it's … well, different for us all.

Before coming to Brentwood you may have been attracted by the What and the How but what keeps us here is the WHY.

Let me take some examples from this past week to answer, for me, Why Brentwood?

  • The celebration of 40 years of girls at Brentwood.
  • The inspired and composed victory by our Senior Boys Basketball team at the Islands.
  • The Alex Open House.
  • Mr. Robinson's grade 9 social studies class creating a video, imposing American revolution criteria over the landscape of Brentwood.
  • It was yesterday's Pink Day in support of our national anti-bullying day.
  • It was Graem B's nervous excitement a few days before his remarks of today.

Now most of these examples are very much What or perhaps How.  For me, however, the WHY was the feeling the What and How invoked, the pride, delight, joy, and unabashed Brentwood passion.  That's the WHY for me.  For the faculty, staff and Board members, Brentwood is not work, it's a calling …and your passion, positive energy and love for our school is the most important WHY for us all.

You've heard my answer and now I'd like to hear yours.  Please pop in to see me or drop me an email to share your answer of … WHY Brentwood.

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