Simon Sinek is a motivational speaker who has given a talk on how great leaders inspire action. In his speech, he explains why some organisations and leaders can inspire people to take action while others are not. He argues that the most inspiring leaders and organisations think, act, and communicate differently from everyone else. They start with their “why” – their purpose, cause, or belief – and work backwards. He describes this concept as the “golden circle” – why, how, what.
Sinek uses the example of Apple to illustrate the difference between this approach and the typical approach of most companies, which is to communicate what they do and how they are different or better. He argues that starting with “why” is more inspiring and effective in motivating people to take action. He also uses the example of the Wright brothers and Samuel Pierpont Langley to illustrate that people are more motivated by a belief or cause than by practical considerations like money or fame.
He argues that people will do the things that prove what they believe. For example, someone bought the iPhone the first six hours and stood in line for six hours because of what they felt about the world and how they wanted everybody to see them: they were first. He says people don’t buy what you do; they believe in why you do it.
To be a truly inspiring leader or organisation, it is crucial to understand and communicate your “why” effectively. This means going beyond just talking about what you do or how you do it and sharing the underlying belief or cause that motivates your actions. People who understand and connect with your “why” will be more likely to support and align themselves with your cause.
People will act in ways that demonstrate their beliefs, which is another crucial point made by Sinek. As a result, leaders and organisations must convey their values and causes in a way that people can relate to because doing so will inspire them to take action. People are more likely to support you and stay loyal to your company if they share your beliefs.
Sinek also uses the example of the Civil Rights Movement to show how effective this approach can be. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. communicated his belief that all laws made by men should be consistent with regulations made by a higher authority. This belief motivated people to support the movement. This is why 250,000 people showed up at the mall in Washington to hear him speak, even though there were no invitations or a website to check the date.
In conclusion, Simon Sinek’s talk on how great leaders inspire action is a powerful reminder of the importance of understanding and communicating your “why.” To inspire others and achieve success, clearly communicate your purpose, cause or belief in a way that resonates with people, whether you’re an individual leader or part of an organisation.