Simon Sinek has codified how the world’s most inspiring leaders think, act and communicate. And he concludes that they do exactly the opposite of everyone else. In his 2010 TED Talk, Sinek draws his Golden Circle to emphasize how inspiring leaders/ companies communicate from the inside out. First why, then how, then what. Says Sinek,
People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.
As we collectively mourn the loss of Steve Jobs, Sinek illustrates his code with Apple. Apple believes in challenging the status quo (why they do it); they do it thru beautiful design and easy to use technology (how they do it); they happen to make great computers (what they do).
Just this morning I was informally coaching a small business owner friend. She was rushing to write a proposal for a very large Canadian company. Winning this business would be by far, their biggest account to date. As I listened to her talk about how she and her partner rushed to create a demo product and crunched the numbers so they could offer a great price …(what they do), I was struck by how, in rushing to explain what we do and how we do it better than everyone else, we really miss the heart of the matter.
The alternative Sinek offers is to get really grounded in why we do what we do. I would add that gaining a deep understanding of why our prospective client does what he does can be profound. What beliefs do we have in common? This is the sweet spot where magic can happen. I believe that we all need strong champions and challengers in order to live our best life. This is why I coach leaders.
Why do you do what you do? Things will get a whole lot more compelling for you and everyone else once you take the time to figure this out.