How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Sinek describes his book as one ‘about a naturally occurring pattern, a way of thinking, acting and communicating that gives some leaders the ability to inspire those around them’. He depicts different situations where one person or group got ahead of another just because they started with the end in mind. Martin Luther King, the Wright brothers, and Apple are such examples. He later goes on to explain why inspiration, as opposed to manipulation, is a long-term strategy in any endeavour. Unlike inspiration, manipulation of employees and consumers can only last so long and needs to be repeated over and over. This, therefore, leads to the core of inspiration: Why.
To help readers understand, he uses The Golden Circle, which is in essence three circles, each inside another. The outer circle shows what, which everyone has figured out. These are the products, services, and functions of a company or person. The middle circle indicates the How, which is the process or strategy through which said services are offered. The most crucial aspect however is the innermost circle, indicating why…Why do you do what you do? It alludes to purpose more than anything else, and once discovered and defined allows one to think and act from the inside out. Biologically speaking, it is also the ‘Why’ (feeling) part of a human brain that informs decisions and behaviour, not the ‘What’ (thought) part. Having understood the various elements of the Golden Circle, the key now lies in implementing them in the right order: 1. why do it? 2. How to do it? 3. What (Result of the Why)?
According to Sinek, clearly defining the Why of a business or idea attracts people of the same mindset and differentiates believers from passers-by. After this, what follows is defining the ‘how’ of the idea, which basically means having a practical and realistic person or mindset to give guidance. The how puts the why to the ground and produces results. Once these two are established, the next and greatest challenge begins: staying true to the Why. The ability to remain consistently committed to the why is what makes successful leaders. It is what inspires others to follow. The Why becomes the metric by which decisions are analysed? The result of this is that we start assessing ourselves from an internal perspective, seeking to be better, anticipating to outdo ourselves every day!