Have you ever thought about why some people are more successful than others? Why are some people more innovative, influential, and profitable? The author, Simon Sinek, asked these questions too before researching some of the world’s most outstanding leaders to see what they had in common. From Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright Brothers, they all started with why. Sinek’s published book, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Action, explores the importance of knowing your why when it comes to business and leadership.
Sinek explains that people don’t buy what you do. They buy into why you do it. Companies like Apple, Harley Davidson, and even Coca-Cola all have major brand loyalty. You won’t see a Coca-Cola lover buy a Pepsi or an Apple lover purchase an Android. These companies, and many others, have found out how to target people with their’ why.’
In the book, Sinek offers a framework called The Golden Circle. This circle looks like a target. The center point is your why, the circle surrounding is your how, and your outer ring is the what. Every company and leader should know what they are doing, but you have to figure out why you’re doing it to get on target. By learning how to clearly articulate your why, how, and what, you will create authenticity as a leader and in the company. But how do you figure that out?
First, you must articulate your why with clarity. Apple’s why is to “think clearly.” It’s simple but effective because it clearly states why they do what they do. Apple wants to help people to think clearly, and their devices are a huge help in many people’s lives. When trying to think of your why, make sure it fits with what you do and is clearly stated so there is no room for confusion.
Once you understand your why, you have to focus on how to implement your why. The how of your leadership or business are the values, principles, and goals of what you do. Sinek believes that knowing your how will give you the ability to stick to what is essential in your leadership. Staying true to how you vow to accomplish your goals is one of the most challenging steps.
Finally, once you understand your why and have solidified your how, implementing your what suddenly becomes more straightforward. Stick by your why and how so that your what becomes trusted among those around you. Your what is your services, the products you sell, people you hire, marketing, public relations, and even your office’s culture. Keep reinforcing your why and how in all of those things to build transparency and trust within your workplace. To learn more about your why, how, and what, get a copy of the book. And check out my review of another of his books, The Infinite Game.