Starting From the Heart: Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why”

Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Most businesses can explain what they do; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. Simon Sinek‘s Start With Why is a guide to finding the true purpose behind every action. Let’s uncover the layers of this concept and see how starting with ‘why’ can redefine the way you look at business and life.

The Essence of the Golden Circle

Imagine three concentric circles. The innermost circle is “Why”, followed by “How”, and the outermost is “What”. This is the Golden Circle, and it’s the heart of Sinek’s argument.

Unearthing the “Why”

The “Why” is not about making money. That’s a result. It’s about your purpose, cause, or belief. It’s the very reason your organization exists. Do you know yours?

Clarifying the “How”

How you do things is your process or values that guide you towards fulfilling your “Why”. This is what makes you stand out, the value you bring, and the unique selling proposition.

Defining the “What”

Most companies know what they do. It’s the products or services they offer. But without a strong “Why”, the “What” lacks direction and purpose.

Leaders: Harnessing the Power of Why

Leaders who wish to inspire must start with “Why”. It’s what rallies people behind a cause, a product, or an organization.

The Apple Way

Apple isn’t just a tech company. They challenge the status quo and think differently, and that’s their “Why”. The result? A loyal customer base that buys into their belief, not just their products.

Influence Through Belief

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. If a company makes its beliefs clear and that resonates with the consumers’ own beliefs, they’re more likely to buy from that company.

The Biology of Why

It’s not just psychology; it’s biology. Our brains respond to the Why.

The Limbic Brain

Our limbic brain, responsible for feelings, trust, and loyalty, is also where our decision-making process takes place. It doesn’t understand language, but it understands feelings and “Why”.

Breaking the How and What Myth

We often think we make logical decisions, but our decisions are driven by emotion and then justified by logic. That’s why starting with “Why” is crucial. It taps into emotions, resonates, and then the “How” and “What” serve to rationalize our choices.

Clarity, Discipline, and Consistency

Harnessing the power of Why requires clarity of purpose, discipline in the process, and consistency in communication.

Going Beyond Buzzwords

Purpose, cause, or belief goes beyond just words. It’s not about a mission statement; it’s about belief. Ensure your “Why” isn’t just words on paper.

The Discipline to Hold True

In the business world, many are tempted to veer off-course. Holding true to your “Why”, especially when faced with challenges, shows discipline.

Consistency Matters

A consistent message lets you establish trust. When people trust you, they’re more likely to be loyal to your cause or brand.

Tying Purpose to Business Strategy

To fully integrate the “Why” into your business, it must be more than just a concept. It must be actionable.

Hire Those Who Believe

Aligning with people who share your belief isn’t just for top leadership. It extends to employees, partners, and stakeholders. When everyone is on the same page, magic happens.

Foster a Culture of Why

Creating a culture that embraces the “Why” ensures that even as the company grows or changes, the core belief remains intact.

Product Evolution with Why

Your products or services can evolve, but if they always tie back to the “Why”, they’ll resonate with your audience. It’s not just about selling a product; it’s about fulfilling a belief.

Revisiting and Reinventing

Over time, companies might drift from their “Why”. It’s essential to revisit, reflect, and if necessary, reinvent.

Analyzing the Disconnect

If your business seems stagnant or you’re losing loyal customers, it might be time to analyze if you’ve drifted from your “Why”.

The Role of Feedback

Encourage feedback. Whether from employees or customers, this can offer insights into whether you’re staying true to your core beliefs.

The Courage to Pivot

If you’ve strayed from your “Why”, have the courage to pivot. A course correction, based on your foundational belief, can set you back on the path to success.

Your Journey with “Why”

Starting with “Why” is not a mere business strategy; it’s a philosophy for a fulfilling life. If you’re in the business realm and are looking for guidance, platforms like Deliberate Directions could be your compass. With tailored executive business coaching and specialized workshops, you can delve deeper into understanding your “Why” and integrating it into your business strategy.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee, or just someone looking for direction, starting with “Why” can pave the way for your success and fulfillment.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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