How do you explain when some people are able to achieve things that seem to defy all assumptions? Why are some people so innovative than all their competition? And yet, they are another ordinary individual amongst the crowd. They have the same access to resources, people, and opportunities. Then why do they seem to have something different?
Coming to facts, Why were the Wright brothers able to figure out how to drive the powered-man flight when there were certainly other teams who were more funded and promoted. Why is it that Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights Movement? He wasn’t the only individual who had suffered in the pre-civil rights of America. He certainly wasn’t the only great speaker of the day. Why him? There is something deeper to grasp from these historic examples and certainly different things that are acting on the State of Play.
About 5-6 years back, I read the book called Start with Why by Simone Sinek which moved me to the core. Now, there are certain conditions that urge me to re-think my Why. I had to read Start with Why once again. You see, some books literally grow with you, helping us find the solace and answer. We are living in one of the most dynamic worlds where disruptions are taking place every day changing the traditional forms of business. Many also refer to this situation as the VUCA which basically explains the industry as being Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and A pointing out some of the key attributes of the business. Yet, we still hang on to old ways of doing things or perhaps fitting old answers to solve new problems. There are two things that I think great leaders need to have in order to be effective and successful – Empathy and Perspective. I also think these things are very often forgotten. It requires some serious introspection to realize where true bottlenecks are and actually take initiative to work on them. While I caught myself in some deep thoughts, there is a book I can always turn to for help.
One of the key takeaways from the book is to identify a common pattern because which some organizations and certain leaders are able to inspire while others aren’t. Would you like to know what are these patterns? As it turns out, all the great inspiring leaders as well as organizations in the world whether it’s Martin Luther King or Wright Brothers have the exact same way. If you ever pick this book to read, you will find that Simon Sinek has de-codified these examples.
Why do, we do, what we do? Why….
I am sure the job we do pays our bills and gives us financial independence, but is that it…
I am sure, each one of us is emotionally attached to what we do. I mean we spend almost 80% of the time delivering the work and the other 20% getting inspiration to perform the very best at work. So, if we dig deeper, there must be a purpose attached to your long hours and challenging the status quo. This book helps us find this Purpose better, and fuels inspiration to channel new ideas that connect to the audience who believes in us. It will help you ensure that everything you do is aligned with your purpose and how it achieves greater success both professionally and in person. As Simon says, Why is that force that wakes you from the bed in the morning. It is our central core of beliefs that pushes us to march forward. If you think about it, all the leaders that we admire begin their journey with a strong why. Once they were convinced, they mobilized other people by offering a sense of belonging and purpose.
In business, as a leader one needs to inspire their team members to do something extraordinary or perhaps inspire the customer to believe in the product which further controls the action of buying. Usually, there are two ways of performing this – Manipulation and Inspiration. While the former can help one to attain short-term results, they completely fail to create long-term loyalty. Inspiration pulls people from inside out. If you are inspired by the company, that’s when you will buy more, and recommend its service to friends and family.
How do you start with Why?
Every single person on the planet, every single organization on the planet knows WHAT they do, complete 100%. Some know HOW they do it, whether you call it Differentiated Value Propositions or proprietary process or your USP. Very rarely do people or organizations know WHY they do what they do. WHY doesn’t mean how to make Profits rather what was your Purpose. Why does your organization exist? Let’s talk about you, what get you out of the bed in the morning…Why should anyone care… It makes us think, about how they act, and communicate from the outside. We go from clearest thing to fuzziest thing. However, the leader who inspire us or organizations who inspire us irrespective of their size, all act, think and communicate from the Inside-Out.
It is better to explain with an example of Apple since it is great to implement the concept of the Golden Circle. It is the visual representation of the structure of the organization. It looks like a Bull’s Eye target with three concentric circles comprising of The Why, The How, The What. Key message from the book is always to start with the center which is understanding the “Why“. Then you move on to “How” and then you move on to “What”. Coming back to practically implement the Golden circle to comprehend the communicating message of Apple.
- Why – We think Differently
- How – We do this by challenging the status quo that helps in making products that are elegant and easy to use.
- What – We just happen to make computers as our products.
Apple’s product is the result of their profound “Why”. The iPhone, for example, is a physical representation of the company’s core values and beliefs. People connect with the core belief of the company and that is why they purchase a iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch. This happens since people just don’t buy what you do instead, they buy why you do it. The Golden Circle works since it is deeply rooted in human biology. We, humans, crave belonging and this need is very powerful that we often put tremendous effort as well as capital into attaining the feeling. Therefore, when the belief of the organization aligns with our own it brings out synergies. It is a must-read for any person who wants to inspire and motivate others to take action!