Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?”. His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling. Simon Sinek explores how great leaders are able to inspire action and excel in their field. Apple, for instance, has the same resources as their competition. They have the same access to technology and talent as their competitors in the same industry, yet they always seem to be more creative and come out with more innovative products. Why? It was because of their never-forgotten leader: Steve Jobs. He was able to inspire action throughout the entire organization because he had a certain form of thinking embedded in his nature. This same form of thinking was in Martin Luther King and the Wright Brothers. Everybody on this Earth knows what they do. Fewer people know how they do it. And only a handful of people on this Earth know why they do it. Steve Jobs was one of the few who knew the “Why”.
Leaders know their purpose. They know their cause. They know their belief. As a result, they work from the inside-out, working from why to how to what. Great leaders want to challenge the status quo and they believe in thinking differently. We are more inspired and attracted to why someone does something rather than what they do. The goal is to sell to people to believe what you believe…to buy in to your belief system. So how do you do this? You need to explore your inner web. Drive by a cause, by an inner belief that you will change the world. You know what drives us? It’s not money. We are motivated by a cause. So that means your profession needs to be in line with exactly that. So, do something that you believe in rather than doing something for a paycheck or some extrinsic factors.
Check out the video below to see Simon’s portrayal of the differences between Tivo and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tivo failed because it demonstrated to the public about what kind of product it offered, while Martin Luther King didn’t go around telling people what needed to change in America. He went around America telling people that he believed that a different world could be possible, that he envisioned a new place. We are attracted to visionary solutions, not problems. Keep this kind of thinking in mind with all of your actions, especially if you want to be a great leader. People don’t follow your ideas. They follow themselves, but it’s up to you to be able to inspire that belief within themselves by following your belief, albeit subconsciously.