“Studies show that over 80% of Americans do not have their dream job. If more knew how to build organizations that inspire, we could live in a world in which that statistic was reversed- a world in which 80% of people love their job. People who love going to work are more productive and more creative. They go home happier and have happier families. They treat their colleagues, clients, and customers better. Inspired employees make for stronger companies and stronger economies. That is why I wrote this book. I hope to inspire others to do the things that inspire them, so that together we may build the companies, the economy, and the world in which trust and loyalty are the norm and not the exception. This book is not designed to tell you what to do- it’s to help you find the cause of what you do.” -Simon Sinek
Below is the Golden Circle. It provides evidence of how much more we can achieve if we start everything we do by first asking, “why?” The “what” is easy to identify. Every company knows “what” they do. “How” is obviously “how” you do the “what.” However, very few companies can articulate “why” they do what they do. This does not mean to make money; this is the cause, purpose, or core belief of the business. WHY does your company exist. WHY do you get out of bed every morning? WHY should anyone care? The inspiring leaders do not start from the outside of the circle, they start from the inside out. They start with WHY.
Here is the why (mission statement) of Apple, “Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. And we happen to make great computers.” The company Creative Tech Ltd. was more qualified than Apple to introduce a digital music product. The problem was, they advertised their product as a “5 GB mp3 player.” It’s exactly the same message as Apple’s, “1,000 songs in your pocket.” The difference is Creative told us WHAT their product was, but Apple told us WHY we needed it. Apple is not a computer company, but a company that offers people the simpler, sleek alternatives.
Knowing your why is essential for lasting success and the ability to avoid being “lumped in with the others.” Companies and organizations with a clear sense of why never worry about it. They don’t think of themselves as being like anyone else and they don’t have to convince anyone of their value. To compete in a market, instead of asking, “what should we do to keep up?” you must ask, “why did we start in the beginning, and what can we do to bring our cause to life again considering all the technologies and market opportunities available today?”
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” If a company doesn’t have a distinct sense of purpose, then it’s impossible for the outside world to perceive anything more than what the company does. When that happens, then manipulations that rely on pushing price, features, service or quality become the primary standard of differentiation. When a company clearly communicates their why, and we believe what they believe, then we will go to extraordinary lengths to include those products or brands in our lives. This is not because they are better, but because they become markers or symbols of the values and beliefs we hold dear.
Thanks for reading! -Laura
Feature photo credit: kaboompics.com