Have you ever noticed that some leaders can naturally inspire actions, while others can't? Or wonder why some people have achieved remarkable feats that defied expectations?
Simon Sinek has a theory. It's called the golden circle. Almost every individual and company know what they do and how they do it. However, few can accurately explain 'why' they do it. As a result, most mission statements fail to capture the why.
Yet, as Simon explains this 'why' is absolutely crucial for not only driving sales, but for inspiring others. People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
We can logically understand what and how something is done, but we emotionally connect with the 'why'. It is this emotional connection that motivates us to take action. For example, when asked 'why' we took a certain action, most of us report that it “felt right” or “our gut instinct told us to”. Or in other words, we resonated with a company or individual's “why” and acted to confirm our own self-identity.
As Simon explains, Martin Luther King was not the only great orator of his time. Nor was he the only African American that suffered under America's laws of segregation and racial hate. Yet, when Martin Luther King marched on Washington over 250,000 people from across the country marched with him. In the pre-Internet days, this turn out was an amazing, incredible feat. How was it accomplished?
Simon claims that MLK was able to motivate people because he didn't start by explaining what was wrong with America, but with “why” America was flawed. His most famous speech wasn't titled “I have a plan”, but “I have a dream”. MLK was able to express his “why” and this “why” resonated with other people that had suffered from America's segregation laws. People joined him on his march on Washington, because this fundamental truth reflected an aspect of their self-identity. In other words, people marched for their own beliefs – not Martin Luther King's.
While Simon's theory may sound inspiring, it isn't easy to find your “why” and put it into practice. And it certainly requires some self-reflection. Most of us live our lives by accident and are simply reacting to our environment. However, we can only attain fulfilment once we understand our purpose or our 'why'.
Discovering our why gives us the clarity and confidence to pursue careers that inspire us and to inspire those around us. It helps us to accomplish things that may seem impossible to others and change the status quo.
To discover more about finding your 'why' and begin the journey towards self-enlightenment, check out Simon's website or listen to his TedTalks.