Start With Why - Simon Sinek

In Simon Sinek's book, Start With Why, he moots the idea that it is important that we're able to consider factors outside of our rational way of thinking, without manipulating customer's buying behaviour.


A lot of business play on fear of loss, peer pressure, promotions/discounting etc as strategies, but it is critical to know how to build customer loyalty by knowing WHY they buy, rather than the external carrot that attracts them to make a purchase. It is more critical to drive intrinsic motivation, these are emotions based motivations to build loyalty.


The Golden Circle, which is one which Simon made popular through his Ted Talk, starts with WHY, then What and How. He uses Apple's Why as an example, on how they "Challenge The Status Quo" and how it commands a loyal following. When it connects with our gut. we have a biological need to connect and belong, this allows us to feel inspired. Corporations then become symbols of our beliefs and values, and therefore our loyalties become massive. This is alignment and the very core.


In the Neocortex, it connects with the WHAT - the rationale and analytical thought. Its in the limbic section that we are connected with WHY,


For a brand to build loyalty, there must be a balance between the WHY, WHAT and HOW. There must be clarity in WHY, a discipline in the HOW. The HOW is the systems and processes required to drive your WHY. The WHAT has to be consistent, it is what the individual and organizations stand for. The authenticity of the organization drives the balance of this Golden Circle.


Ultimately it is about building trust - it is not rational, it is a feeling. Consistent communication with a constant demonstration of a shared beliefs.


A brand or cause reaches a tipping point when it crosses a chasm. This is when this diffusion pushes past the early adopters, past a chasm, and push ahead. Really focus on the early adopters and Innovators. A lot of these are done through word of mouth by these groups and when the population of possible demographic of consumers cross the chasm, there will be exponential growth.


The WHY might inspire and drive people, but nothing will be done until the HOW type people start setting things in motion. 86% of our population are the HOW types of people, it is the WHY types that build the billion dollar corporations.


Many times WHYs are intangible, emotions based and it is hard to drive that message across in a marketing campaign, without mixing it with the what - the products and services. The solution to this is to drive it through imagery and storytelling. Again, Apple makes a great case-study - They had their "Think different" Campaign that highlighted the 'rebels' at the marketplace.


Organizations degenerate when their WHYs become unclear. An achievement happens when you've obtained a WHAT. but success is when you attain your WHY. Walmart was to serve humanity (WHY) but it shifted to their WHAT - selling low cost goods. these caused a lost of foresight, a common goal, and caused much challenges like unfair labour practices. It is crucial to always hold the WHY close to heart.


KPIs should be aligned with the WHY of the corporation. So should the succession planning process - it is crucial that the WHY never loses its sights, as leadership is renewed.


The WHY, as I put it, the PURPOSE OF A PERSON AND ORGANIZATION is so critical. It is not just a good practice, it is a best practice. It is biological, it is wired in our brains and as a human race, that we have to continue to drive our WHY to achieve SUCCESS... the achievement of our why, with that intangible outcomes.


Check out Simon Sinek's Start With Why for an in-depth look into Purpose and how that drives everything that we do.

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