Why should I choose your product or service over your competition’s offering? Because it’s better, cheaper, or faster? According to Simon Sinek, this is how most organizations make their pitch to customers and because everyone is making the same claim, there’s no unique point of difference. The good news is Sinek has a nifty way of coming up with what he believes makes you special. He calls it ‘The Golden Circle’.
Let’s go visual. Picture a bulls-eye with three circles. Written on the inner circle is the word ‘why’, the next circle reads ‘how’, and the outer circle has ‘what’. Most organizations, and people, can describe ‘what’ they do but very few answer the ‘why’. Sinek says when you answer the ‘why’, you become unique and inspirational. Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed five (or six or seven) days a week to work for this organization? He says inspired leaders start with the why.
Instead of starting from the outside of the bulls-eye or Golden Circle and working in, start from the inside and work your way out.
He cites the experience of Apple computers. If that corporation simply answered ‘what’ they do, it would be ‘make computers’. But he says Apple is all about embodying and communicating the ‘why’ which is ‘We believe in challenging the status quo by thinking differently’. Sinek says people don’t buy Apple computers because they’re better (although that’s part of it) but because customers respond emotionally to their philosophy to ‘think different’. You want to hang with that crowd.
Sinek believes the ‘why’ builds loyalty and ongoing success. So, what’s your ‘why’?
View Simon Sinek’s TED address.