Why ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek is Great

From time to time, team members will share their views stimulated from a piece by an industry thought leader. Here, our CEO, Lisa Maier, discusses an Inc article by one of her favorite authors, Simon Sinek.

Simon Sinek has a great TEDx talk, Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Action. The main message is that most of us have it backwards: the most loyal customers don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. What you do simply proves what you believe. And when they buy from you, when they interact with you, they do so for themselves, because their ‘why’ is in resonation with your ‘why.’ This creates the most loyal relationship possible because it is based on identity.

What is interesting is that this is a treatise on attraction vs promotion in many ways, as it speaks to why and how we make decisions because “it just feels right” and we avoid making decisions that “just don’t feel right.” So even if we can’t explain it, we do know pretty quickly whether a product, a service, even a company resonates with us. This, Sinek asserts, is the connection on the ‘why’ level.

He then goes on to talk about the ‘innovation diffusion’ curve, sometimes depicted as the product adoption curve.  Sinek then thought-provokingly suggests that a company crosses the critical early adopter segment into the early majority segment, which is the beginning of sustained success, by resonating with those most willing to make decisions on intuition, the early adopters. The ‘why’ is the very bridge that crosses you over that chasm to success.

The prescription is to know your why, and then to single-mindedly focus on making sure what you do proves your why. That is your main job as a leader within a company. Then let your why attract – nay, inspire – the  right clients and the right employees, and lead you to assured success. Well worth the 15 minutes of listening time. Be sure to tell us what you think!


Author: Lisa Maier

Lisa Maier is the CEO of DirectiveGroup, and brings great passion and over a decade of experience in the online marketing space. Her background includes a undergraduate degrees in Economics and Sociology, a Wharton MBA degree in Information Strategies & Economics, top tier technology strategy consulting and several years helping small technology companies traverse the chasm from good products to nationally scaled businesses, particularly making use of online marketing and media programs.