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Start With ‘Why’

Simon Sinek developed a model that clarifies what turns a leader, organization or product into a success that leads to change.

What makes Apple the leading computer developer in the world? Why did Martin Luther King become a symbol of the struggle for human rights? How did the Wright Brothers, two dreamers lacking any formal higher education and financial means, overcome the force of gravity and produce the first ever wings that let humans fly? All three have one common denominator: they had a vision. They were very clear about what they were aiming for.

Simon Sinek discusses this common denominator in his lectures and books on inspiring leadership. Sinek coined two terms which have trickled down into common usage: “Start with why” and “The golden circle.” His TedX talks are immensely popular because of his clear, direct language which points listeners towards what has to be done, or more correctly: the starting point on how to turn your business into a success.

Currently accepted business marketing strategy claims that we should tell potential clients what we’re selling them and what our product’s advantages are relative to those of our competitors. That’s not the key to success, claims Sinek. To succeed in what you’re doing, you need to ask yourself, first and foremost: Why? What drives me? What’s behind my wish to develop this particular product? And money, Sinek emphasizes, is NOT the drive; profits are only an outcome.

In Apple’s case, its founder Steve Jobs unequivocally stated at the outset: We will bring with us the message of innovation. We will think of the client’s need long before the client has begun to think about it. We will look for new, original ways to address these needs. We will do this in the best way imaginable.

If we compare Apple with its primary competitor, Dell, whose products are renowned for their excellent quality, we can’t help but wonder why Dell is so far behind Apple on the sales graph. Yet it’s easy to understand the disparity: Jobs’ vision turned Apple into what it is, just as the Wright Brothers beat out all their wealthy competitors, and King enthused the entire world with his resounding rally cry: “I have a dream!”.

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