In his famous TED Talk, author Simon Sinek delves into the motivation behind every successful person and business, a useful leadership model for how small businesses and startups can inspire action, by starting with the purest of questions, “Why?”
Why do some companies achieve great things and defy all our assumptions and expectations, he asks? Why are companies like Apple so innovative, when they are realistically just like everyone else with the same access to technology and media?
Lesson 1: Successful people can tell you ‘why’ their business exists
Every business can easily state ‘what’ they do. Most can articulate ‘how they do it’, but few businesses know ‘why’ they exist, says Sinek. Beyond profit, the ‘why’ is your purpose, your cause, or your belief system.
Ask yourself why your business exists, and why anyone should care.
Lesson 2: People don’t buy what you do, they buy ‘why’ you do it
If Apple were like everyone else, says Sinek, you might expect the following marketing message:
‘We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly ’.
Instead Apple encourages you to buy into their vision, not their product. They would be more likely to say:
‘We believe in challenging the status quo, and we believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. We just happen to make computers.’
Businesses should avoid the uninspiring tactic of communicating what they do, and automatically expecting a purchase behaviour.
Lesson 3: Passionate employees are the most valuable employees
“The goal is to sell to people who believe what you do,” says Sinek.
The same goes for the people that you hire. Employ people who remain loyal to you and believe in your business vision. You don’t want people who can simply do the job and work for money, you want people who offer you their blood, sweat and tears – this will boost your chance of business success.
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