All leaders have many responsibilities and one of the most important is to establish or nourish a workplace culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive.
In his latest book, Together Is Better: A Little Book of Inspiration, published by Portfolio/Penguin (September 2016), Simon Sinek asserts that leadership “is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.” This is what Robert Greenleaf characterizes as “servant leadership.”
Sinek explains why all great leaders feel a need to serve a great purpose and have an obligation to help others to find and serve their purpose. Here is the vision Sinek imagines: “to build a world in which the vast majority of us wake up every single morning inspired to go to work, feel safe when we’re there and return home fulfilled at the end of the day.”
He discusses this vision in his TED Talk and, thus far, more than 28 million people have watched the video: “About three and a half years ago, I made a discovery. And this discovery profoundly changed my view on how I thought the world worked, and it even profoundly changed the way in which I operate in it. As it turns out, there’s a pattern. As it turns out, all the great inspiring leaders and organizations in the world, whether it’s Apple or Martin Luther King or the Wright brothers, they all think, act and communicate the exact same way. And it’s the complete opposite to everyone else. All I did was codify it, and it’s probably the world’s simplest idea. I call it the golden circle.”
How important are visions? Consider this second excerpt from his TED Talk: “Dr. King believed that there are two types of laws in this world: those that are made by a higher authority and those that are made by men. And not until all the laws that are made by men are consistent with the laws made by the higher authority will we live in a just world. It just so happened that the Civil Rights Movement was the perfect thing to help him bring his cause to life. We followed, not for him, but for ourselves. By the way, he gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech.”