An interesting thing happened while I was sleeping.
I had stayed up late to publish an article on value-driven pricing; then brushed my teeth and went to bed. I woke up the next morning to a flood of response: the article, my thinking, had sparked passionate comments and debate.
Those who supported it said, in effect “Yes! I get this. I believe what you believe. Now let me expand on it.”
The dialogue flourished. Our knowledge grew. The community bonded. If we’d all been in the same room, there would have been hugging and high-fives.
This is what happens when you think, act, and communicate out of your deepest beliefs.
Not everyone liked what I had to say. But those who did flocked to the topic and to each other – not for me but for themselves. People showed up and made their voices heard because of a shared belief.
This is what inspiring leaders and inspired companies do. They think, act and communicate their deepest beliefs. And people who share their beliefs show up.
Kirk Bennett, fellow Biznik, after reading my article sent me an email with a link to one of the most thought-provoking TED presentations I’ve ever seen. If you follow TED, you can appreciate what this means. If this topic interests you, watch this 18-minute presentation by Simon Sinek, on how great leaders inspire action. But don’t leave yet. This article will help you apply Sinek’s thinking to your business.
Simon Sinek tells us that the world’s greatest innovators, leaders and companies share a distinct pattern – a pattern that runs contrary to the status quo.
Sinek describes what he calls the Golden Circle. In the center is Why. The next ring is How. And the outer ring is What.
Most of us communicate this way:
What = We tell people what we do
How = Then how we do it
Why = And finally (if ever) why we do it
Take all of us Bizniks, for example. We run our own businesses and most of us sell like this:
What: “I’m a marketing consultant who helps business owners achieve breakthrough growth.”
How: “I gather market data to develop a strategic plan, yada, yada.”
Why: “Because I’m naturally driven to find the hidden potential in everything and want to maximize it.”
Unlike most of us, true innovators and leaders work from the inside out. They think, act and communicate from Why — their purpose, cause, belief, their very reason for being.
Sinek states it perfectly:
“People don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.”
I believe, to my very core, that we carry within us the raw potential to be, not just great but, extraordinary. I have an innate talent for seeing hidden potential – in people, ideas, endeavors – and nurturing it to fruition. This is why I’m a business catalyst working with entrepreneurs.
That’s my Why. The very reason I publish articles on my way to bed.
Imagine what it would be like if I thought, acted and communicated my Why all of the time. And then when someone resonated to it, but only then, I described How and What. Would they be more likely to want to talk to me, collaborate with me, hire me?
Rather than tell people What you do, show them Why you do it.
Sinek says “The goal is not to do business with everyone who needs what you have. But to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
Imagine that! Doing business with only people who believe what you believe. How fun would life be if you could do that? Guess what? You can! And your business will grow in a way that matters when you no longer work with non-believing clients (yes, we all have had them – those who hire us only to fight us).
And here’s an amazing thing: Sinek’s model isn’t based on his opinion. It’s based on science. Brain science. Not psychology, but biology.
The center of his Golden Circle corresponds with the center of our brains, the limbic brain. The limbic brain is responsible for our feelings. It invokes trust and loyalty. It’s responsible for human behavior, controls decision-making, and is not tied to language. It’s where we form gut reactions, which are nearly, if not always, right.
The neocortex, or the outer ring of the brain, corresponds to the What of Sinek’s Golden Circle. It’s responsible for rational and analytical thought.
If we want to see our businesses explode, we need to behave like the world’s most inspiring leaders. To think, act and communicate Why we do what we do. This is where our clients make their decisions — on a gut level – to trust us with their needs. We have to tap into the limbic brain before the neocortex can process the reasons why this is a good idea.
If you live what you believe, you will attract those who share your belief. If you run your business from this belief, it will grow in a way that has deep and lasting meaning – for you and your clients.
Get clear on Why you do what you do. What’s the passion that drove you to start your business? What motivates and inspires you? If you get clear on this and think, act and communicate it every day, you will inspire those who share your beliefs to join you.
And an interesting thing will happen. While you sleep, work and play!