Start with Why


Start with Why

Simon-Sinek.hi-res1Meet Simon Sinek who is described as an optimist and “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect”.  Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home everyday feeling fulfilled by their work, Sinek is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them….Pretty awesome right!

So before I go on let me dedicate this post to all the entrepreneurs and leaders out there and remember…. Entrepreneurship isn’t just about starting a business, it is about solving a problem according to Simon 🙂

I was listening to TED Talks the other day and I stumbled upon Simon Sinek. His talk was titled “Start with Why”. So yall know that TED talk is only for 18 minutes so a lot of information gets edited but I reckon the key points are included. Anywho I went on over to you tube to listen to a longer version. Have to tell you, he got me thinking and I thought I’d share. Listened to the talk a few times, I do that a lot because I just feel like you cannot listen to something once and get all of the information.  Also every time I listened to it I picked up another important food for thought. Below is what I picked up on.

He introduced the concept of the golden circle. It consist of what, how, why, see the diagram below. There is a lot of focus on the what and how but far little attention on the why. According to Simon, it is the why that really makes great companies. Hmmmmmm

golden circle

 As entrepreneurs and/or leaders we have to ask ourselves some questions

  1. Why does your organization exist?
  2. What does your company or product represent?
  3. How are you helping your customers on a personal level?

According to him people don’t necessarily buy what you do but why you do it. Now we have to be careful how we interpret this. I’m also not sure if this applies to all industries or maybe it does? Moving along…. According to Simon there has to be clarity of why you do what you do, you must have the discipline of how, you have to hold yourself and team responsible to your own guiding principles and values. You have to have consistency of what, everything you say or do has to prove what you believe. This creates authenticity.

Simon says (do yall know that game Simon says…haha 🙂 ) a company should consist of a group of people with a common set of values and beliefs. When people believe what you believe they work for you with their blood, tears and sweat, when they don’t they work for your money. He uses Apple as an example. According to Simon the folks at Apple went to work and looked for things that restricted human opportunity and held people down and gave people an option to challenge that. You remember the Apple slogan “Think Different”. I guess Apple was set up to challenge the status quo! Love it!

 He talked about the law of diffusion of innovation (see diagram below).  His angle was that you don’t just want 15% of the mass market but 15% of LOYAL customers, who will do business with you no matter what, who believe what you believe. Those are the customers that identify with your company on a personal level.

law of diffusion

An entrepreneur/leader should be able to put desires and values into words in order to attract people with like minds. People who can clearly articulate what they believe are the ones who lead. The goal is not to talk about what you do but what you believe. The people who believe are drawn to you.

This is only a fraction of a fraction 🙂 of what he shared. You absolutely have to take time out to listen to it. If you do please share your thoughts. Even if you don’t agree with all his ideas, I hope you learn a few things…

Thanks for stopping by…. Happy listening 🙂

The Golden Circle theory by Simon Sinek applied to Branding

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