So what does it take to be inspirational? In this TED talk, viewed more than two million times, business author Simon Sinek presents what he believes is the answer. His analysis of inspirational people and organisations has led him to believe that they all “think, act and behave in the exact same way, and it’s the complete opposite to anyone else”.
Based on a model he calls the Golden Circle, Sinek argues that the key to inspiring commitment or action rests in our ability to speak to that part of people that influences their behaviours. To do that we must connect them with our mission or purpose, in other words not just what we do but why we do it. By why, Sinek isn’t referring to making profits or achieving other financial objectives. For people to be inspired, to choose to be loyal, Sinek believes they need to understand and feel aligned with why your organisation fundamentally exists.
Articulating why we do what we do may not be all that easy for many of us. Sinek believes that everyone knows what they do, some understand how they do it but few truly understand why they do it. While undoubtedly difficult, considering the relevance of the Golden Circle to our connection with customers and employees alike, this is an important challenge for organisations to overcome.
I encourage you to take the 18 minutes to watch this video in which Sinek eloquently argues “the goal is not just to hire people, it’s to hire people who believe what you believe. If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears. When employees understand why they do what they do, they’re more likely to be inspired. And the ‘why’ can’t be about the attainment of profit. It needs to be about the ultimate purpose for why a business exists. It’s this purpose that employees must clearly comprehend in order to be inspired”.
Simon Sinek will be in Australia with Business Chicks in May! I’m very excited to have the opportunity to participate in his Melbourne workshop (Workshops will also be held in Sydney and Brisbane)… Head over to the Business Chicks events website for more details on this event!