Business Nuggets from Simon SInek

In 50 Business Classics, Tom Butler-Bowdon includes a discussion of Simon Sinek’s bestseller, Start with Why.

These are among the dozens of insights that caught my eye:

o “Every company knows what it does — the products or services it sells. Most companies understand how they do it — a unique proposition, proprietary process, or how they do something better or different to the competition. But very few firms really understand and articulate why they exist — the goal or mission that inspires their employees to get out of bed in the morning…People do’t buy what you do, Sinek says, they buy why you do it.” (Page 291)

o “The goal for any company is for people to make decisions about buying their products or services based on the heart…You want people to be loyal to you because your purpose and products make them feel good about using them. You want people to turn to you as a gut feeling.” (292)

Note:  Maya Angelou once observed, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

o “The best customers are simply the ones who believe what you believe, just as the best spouse is one who shares your values. The best employees are not the ones who match the skills you need, but the ones who believe in what you are trying to do as a company…Don’t just hire ‘passionate people,’ Sinek says, make sure they are passionate about the same things you are.” (294)

“A primary reason for creating a ‘Why’ organization is that it makes decisions a lot simpler, since you are very clear on what you should and should not be involved in, and who you should and should not work with…Clarity of purpose not only inspires and energizes, it saves a lot of wasted time and effort dealing with the wrong people and pursuing the wrong projects. InsteAd, inzagine a world in which edveryone had a clear ‘Why,’ And their life and work was an expression of this purpose. That would be a world in which potential, in life and business, was fulfilled as a matter of course.” (295)

* * *

Note: Sinek’s TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire action,” based on Start with Why, has thus far been viewed by more than 40 miillion people.

50 Business Classics: Your shortcut to the most important ideas on innovation, management and strategy was published by Nicholas Brealey (2018).

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action was published by Portfolio/Penguin Random House (2009).


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