If you want to be an inspired leader, you need to watch this NOW. Check it out: Simon Sinek on “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.”
There are so many questions that we ask ourselves when we’re trying to rise above our competition, or lead our staff in a different way.
Why do we do what we do? And is the “what” more important than the “why?”
There is a reason why we decided to go to school, get our first jobs, get married, and start families. Those decisions were made on our believing that directionally they were the best choices for our lives. The why, not the what, of those choices was ultimately important.
The same thing applies at work, as we lead, and as we do what we do.
What Sinek discovered is that there is a pattern in the way successful leaders and accomplished companies operate: they think, act, and communicate in the same way. And he points to Apple as an example. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne invented the Apple computer (the what) but why did they do it? Apple has access to the same media, the same talent, the same consumers, and the same organizational structure as many other companies do.
But what is different about their organization? Something else might be at play here right? Well, most likely it wasn’t luck or chance. They thought it out and strategically, company-wide, they focused on their customer’s needs. Ease of use and the propensity for great design. Apple continuously challenges the status quo. And not to anyone’s surprise, people buy into why they did what they did, and it’s extended across their brand and their entire product line. Success.
Sinek espouses that people don’t buy “what,” they buy “why.” Our decisions are made by two central parts of our brains. The neo cortex provides us with our rational thoughts while our limbic brain controls our behaviors. The combination of the two is what drives our preference for one thing or the other. We believe in certain things and in the case of Apple, its employees (through blood, sweat, and tears) believe the same thing as its customers. And that right there is the recipe for success. When it comes to purchasing patterns, only about 10% of users “just get it,” but the gap can be closed on the remaining 90% to get them to buy through creative and determined leadership.
Consumer purchasing patterns are determined by what they believe to be inspired leaders and brilliant companies. And in the long-term, end profits are determined by the why, not the what.
We follow leaders and companies because it’s what we want to do. There are some leaders that control, but the best enthuse others.
So what can you do to be an inspired leader and create the why?
- Challenge the norm. Strive for that 10% of consumers that wholeheartedly will believe in what and why you are do something.
- Drive your employees to believe in the needs of your users. This is how to motivate people to ask why.
- Steward the ship and never let an employee of yours take the fall. That will inspire trust and loyalty.
- Be impulsive. Don’t labor over the details. Just make the call and act on it. Right or wrong, at least you made a decision.
- Create an atmosphere of authenticity. Lead your staff to be real in their thoughts and actions.
- Open your doors. Establish an open working environment so that your staff feels comfortable interacting and strategizing with you.
- Always seek out your successor. Look toward your teammates as potential candidates for your job so that they can carry the torch if you leave your position.
- Inspire creativity and teamwork. Although individual contributions are critical, it’s proven that people who work in teams are more successful and provide better solutions as a whole.
- Find your mentor. Fostering a relationship with a mentor that can guide you will make you be a better leader. And you will learn a ton along the way.
- Believe in what you do. If you believe in your brand, your product, and your team, your staff will follow suit. Success.
It’s not about what you do, it’s why you do it. Words to live by.