Start with the Why?

When chatting to an acquaintance recently about creating interest around my business they suggested I watch the TED talk ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action’ given by Simon Sinek.

At this point I’ll come clean and admit that I’ve attempted to watch several TED talks and have never sat through a whole one.  I am a reasonable person but these trigger an irrational response in me. The way the speaker strides around the stage delivering their speech with such self importance makes me switch them off.  I find them insufferable.

That said, I respected this person’s guidance and in the interest of always wanting to raise my game, especially where business is concerned I gave this one a go.  I’m glad I did.

To begin with he asks why some organizations are able to sell more products even though their competitors are equally good?  And why are some leaders more influential than others?   According to Simon, these successes are down to a pattern of behaviour that all inspiring leaders and organisations adhere to and he goes on to say that it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else is doing.  Intrigued? I certainly was.

On a flip chart Simon draws this diagram:


The What represents the products or services a company sells. The How is an explanation of how the company does this and the Why is what a company believes in.

He says for success the core question in the golden circle, the Why, is what we should all be focussing on first. This means we need to ask ourselves: Why are we doing this?  What’s our purpose?  Why do we get out out bed in the morning? Why should anyone care? Only when we have a clear answer should we move onto the How and finally the What.

That sounds like a common sense approach however, we can be so engrossed in what we’re doing day to day that we don’t always remember why we’re doing it.  So with a sense of renewed vigour having now watched this Ted Talk twice I have taken pen to paper and created my own version of the Golden Circle for russell russell.

Simon Sinek knows what makes people tick and he has since gone on to say that this concept is not only for organizations and leaders, he says everyone, no matter what they do, should give this their full consideration. He believes it will make people feel more fulfilled, give them a sense of purpose and if necessary the opportunity to reassess. It’s worth a watch.

simon sinek’s ted talk

 Once you’ve had chance to mull it over let me know if there’s anything you should be doing differently?

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