Why, How THEN What
Simon Sinek has quite a rather unique take on millennials and business as he talks at length about in his book “Start with Why” which he published in 2009. He explains how great leaders inspire everyone to take action. At the surface level you may think that Simon Sinek’s book will be motivational in nature, and to an extent you are correct. But this does not come without great praise and recognition of industry leaders and their stories. My WHY has inspired me to become a better person and re-evaluate almost every aspect of my life. Why am I working in Sales? Why do I work in technology? I began this rigorous analysis of my life inclusive of far more detailed questions I had never thought before. It was intoxicating. I found myself thinking deeply about exactly why I did what I did, and why I needed to change. I was unhappy in many ways that I was unaware of and the “Golden Circle” concept came to me at the perfect time in my professional life. What do I want to do? How do I want to do it? Most importantly, WHY do I want to do it?
As he repeats often, good organizations and people know what they do and how they do it, but great ones know WHY. Simon explains how most people and organizations know what they do and how they do it but the WHY is usually unclear. I now study most organizations and what their WHY is. An organization that has a clear mission, vision and purpose often have a WHY that resonates well within the employees. One of my favorite parts of his book is the deep analysis around organizations that do NOT succeed or when their WHY goes fuzzy and they experience a split. It happens, don’t kid yourself. In my opinion, the analysis of failures is one of the greatest strengths that we have. Understanding exactly why, how and what a company may have done wrong and being able to see that vividly is powerful. Learning from previous failures while applying triumphant innovative concepts is a formula for future success. What worked before? What didn’t? What is working now? How can we apply it? How can we improve?
Apple is the ‘vehicle’ that Simon bases a lot of his ideas on. Apple is not a computer company, they are a company that knows it’s’ WHY, and happens to make computers. I’m paraphrasing, check out his book for the actual phrase. That statement is powerful when thought about on a grand scale. Why? Maybe it is that Apple has trust, loyalty and one of the most recognizable brands on the planet. Maybe not? I think it is true because Steve Jobs and “Woz” had a true sense of purpose together. When you big picture this and continue to hire a staff and inspire them to believe exactly what you believe, amazing things happen. Go study the company for yourself and see what you can find out.
Simon ensures that the material and content in his book very comprehensible. He does get into some brain discussion around biology and how we are ‘programmed’, but to him, that is important to his message being properly internalized. There is also a sense of repetition for retention or enhancing his point, this is unclear to me. The type of enthusiasm and passion speaks volumes to how much he supports his own WHY and vision. Gary Vee speaks with a similar form of passion, maybe a bit more energy. The mutual connection is that of a burning desire for following dreams, passions and finding out your internal and external WHY.
This book is needed in our world today. His message relates to people in everyday life. The significance of knowing WHY you do what you do, HOW you do it and WHAT you do is vital. This will only open up your mind to ideas that you may not have previously considered. Maybe you are unhappy and it took a bit of inspiration to expand your mind around exactly what you are doing and how it could be different. My opinion: We live in a world of opportunity that is thriving each day. We see it in every form of life. So why wait? Why contemplate the decision of striving for a better future. Would you rather take the path of least resistance or the path less traveled? I’m taking the path that I didn’t know existed. I’m creating it. So in the words of Simon Sinek, “START WITH WHY”.