19 July 2018 - Start with Why
I read the book by Simon Sinek recently called Start with Why. I had seen him in person being interviewed last year in London. He was talking about Millennials and how we, as society, can interact with them. The interview was fascinating and the hour flew by. I could have happily listened all evening. If you get a chance then do watch his Ted Talk and other videos Simon has now posted. simon_sinek
As part of the interview event with Simon, we were able to buy a signed copy of his book, Start with Why. The book is now some years old, having being first published in 2009. It uses mostly American companies as examples, one being Apple and talking about Steve Jobs. No one would have guessed at the point of writing the book that dear Steve would no longer be with us. Don’t get me wrong, the examples are still valid and are thought provoking.
Simon Sinek is a very watchable guy. He is a master of human behaviour and how businesses operate and we’re fortunate that he figured out his own Why to share his insights with us.
Do let me first tell you about the theory ‘Start with Why’ and why it’s so powerful.
Behind every small start up is a person passionate about a particular cause which leads them to act. This can turn into a going concern and grow. The passion behind the cause is the ‘Why’ of the business. It’s important that as businesses scale they remember to continue to articulate their purpose to employees and the wider community, to emphasise their Why.
Then comes the How and What factors. The How is the explanation of the difference in the business’ proposition. The What describes the company’s products, services or job functions. The What is the thing you do to get the job done.
The Why, How and What form the golden circle of business with leadership at the centre preserving the Why, and inspiring others to join their cause, while their employees are busy with the How and What elements. As businesses scale it’s important to keep the Why in perspective.
It’s very reassuring therefore to see the co-founder of Funding Circle always start his presentations with a slide on Funding Circle’s Why; he also having read Simon’s book. It helps to remind his audience the reason behind Funding Circle’s creation and it’s continued goal to build a better financial world, which in turn, helps small businesses and the wider community. Funding_Circle
Having read Simon’s book I too felt I needed to clarify my Why and my own golden circle. I realise that I would have struggled with this 10 years ago but now things are much clearer. So here goes:
Why - to make businesses operate better
How - I use Salesforce
What - I challenge existing processes and guide others towards customer centric efficiencies.
By defining and understanding your own Why then you can use this to help you make better decisions. When you are clear about your own passion then it can guide your career direction. This can lead you to a more fulfilling role, delivering a bigger impact in the world and improving your own self worth and happiness.
It’s worth a go. Start with Why.