I’d like to introduce Simon Sinek. In two parts, this post being the first. For those of you who don’t know Simon, he’s a visionary, speaker and consultant. His main topics are leadership and ‘start with why’. Both these topics are (mostly) job-related, what kind of work you do, how you do it but mostly, why you do it. This lands on common ground with an earlier post regarding Live Your Legend. That it is important to realise what you do and why you do it. This leads to one of Simon’s strongest quotes:
“People don’t care what you do they care why you do it.
And what you do it simply proves what you believe.”
In one of the most interesting talks I have ever seen/heard, he explains this quote and the meaning behind it. He explains it using his “Golden Circle”, seen here:
It’s based on this: Most people and organisations know what they do and how they do it, but only a few truly know why they do what they do. Sinek uses Apple, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright Brothers in his talk as successful examples of people who follow their why, and inspire others to do the same.
Point is: find your why. If you know why you do what you do and you are happy doing it, congratuwelldone! If you dig deep and realise you have no idea why you do what you do – the opposite end of the spectrum – it might be time to rethink some stuff. Everyone is at some point of this ‘line’. You might do what you do for the money, for self-actualization (Maslow’s pyramid: hierarchy of needs), simply to have something to do or maybe you do what you do for the well-being of others. There is no right or wrong, as long as you stand behind your reason for doing it. Currently in a shitty job but you need the money? Fair enough, if you are happy with that situation. In a great job but the pay is shitty? Fair enough, if you are happy with that situation.
Simon goes a little deeper and mentions the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright Brothers. They all did what they believed to be right, they had their why and followed it ardently. Their belief inspired others, not what they did, but why they did it.
“By the way,
Dr. King held his ‘I have a dream’ speech,
not his ‘I have a plan speech’.”
Like with all sources, it is not what is said or stated that contributes to growth, it is what you – the recipient – do with the information that matters. People followed Dr. King because of their own idea of what had to change in America, says Sinek.
There are leaders and then there are those who lead. People like Dr. King are leaders not because they have authority but because they lead. They inspire us. It is the same in our jobs and work places, we follow those who inspire us because we want to, and only follow the authoritative leader because we have to.
“If you hire people just because they can do a job they’ll work for your pay check but if you hire people who believe what you believe they’ll work with blood, sweat and tears.”
The Wright Brothers are the perfect example of this. They knew and followed their why and it inspired others to follow them and do the same.
I recently held a speech at a (my) graduation ceremony about this. About finding your why, and it was mostly inspired by this talk. I still find it incredibly interesting (I think I mentioned that before) and Simon has many more like it, some of which I’ll add later on. For now, I recommend watching this one and marvel at its truths!
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