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Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Do you know ‘Why’ your Association or business organization exists? Truly?
According to a recent article in Forbes® Magazine, Purpose is on its way to becoming the ultimate differentiator in business. Companies with a strong defined purpose drive employee engagement, connect deeper with customers and fuel their bottom line. According to Deloitte Global CEO Punit Renjen, “Exceptional firms have always been good at aligning their purpose with their execution, and as a result, have enjoyed category leadership in sales and profits.”
Purpose relates to your “Why” as a business. To quote Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do or how you do it, they buy why you do it.” Purpose should permeate everything you do. “Every decision should be looked at in terms of purpose. Some decisions may be purpose neutral. But Purpose is certainly not just a marketing issue or positioning of your brand image. Purpose should impact every aspect of the firm,” says Raj Sisodia, author of Conscious Capitalism and FW Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business at Babson College.
In Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek presents the idea that great leaders inspire others by putting the Why (the purpose) before the How (the process), or the What (the product).
Start with Why created waves of discussion and change around our office. Simply put, we love this book. In addition, we love the TED talk on this same topic. Watch it below; it is the second most viewed TED talk of all time.
In summary, we recommend Start with Why to everyone because Sinek’s revolutionary philosophies on leadership can easily be used in any professional and personal situation that calls for inspiration and influence. Sinek is also the author of Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. We can’t wait to read it next.
- Examples of asking Why:
– Why does your company exist? (not profits; profits are the result.)
– Why should people care?
- To motivate action, you can manipulate or inspire.
- Manipulation includes: price, promotions, fear, aspirations, novelty, peer pressure (endorsements).
- Manipulation is best for transactions that will likely only happen once, not building loyalty.
- Inspiring people requires a real purpose, a Why.
- A clearly expressed Whyhelps separate you from the rest.
- Humans want to belong to communities and cultures.
- Clients identify with brands that articulate a clear Why.
- Clients cannot identify with the What without the Why.
- Behavior needs to reinforce the Why.
- Be authentic. Know your Why and align ALL decisions, actions, and communication with the Why.
- Guiding principles need to be focused around meaningful, action statements, not nouns.
– Say: find creative ways to solve problems, instead of innovation.
- Ignore the competition. Only focus on the Why.
It is not logic or facts but our hopes and dreams, our hearts and our guts, that drives us to try new things.
Trust begins to emerge when we have a sense that another person or organization is driven by things other than their own self-gain.
An Apple pitch that leads with Why: Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?
When you force people to make decisions with only the rational part of their brain, they almost invariably end up “overthinking.” These rational decisions tend to take longer to make, says Restak, and can often be of lower quality. In contrast, decisions made with the limbic brain, gut decisions, tend to be faster, higher-quality decisions. This is one of the primary reasons why teachers tell students to go with their first instinct when taking a multiple-choice test, to trust their gut.
“I can make a decision with 30 percent of the information,” said former secretary of state Colin Powell. “Anything more than 80 percent is too much.”
“To inspire people to do the things that inspire them so that, together, each of us can change our world for the better.– Simon Sinek – ‘Start with WHY’.
Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist who believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. He discovered remarkable patterns about how the greatest leaders and organizations think, act and communicate.
Simon may be best known for popularizing the concept of WHY in his first TED Talk in 2009. It rose to become the third most watched on TED.com, with over 40 million views and subtitled in 47 languages.
Simon is the author of multiple bestselling books including Start With Why (global best seller), Leaders Eat Last (New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller), Together is Better (New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller) and Find Your Why. His latest book, The Infinite Game, was recently released in 2019.