KIRSTY O’CALLAGHAN embraces the search for the qualities and attributes of leaders and those that inspire action. She came across the ‘Golden Circle’ from which she shares insights to help you grow yourself and your business.
In 2009, Simon Sinek released his book Start With Why, a synopsis of the theory he has begun using to teach others how to become effective leaders and inspire change. It is one of the most simple and powerful models I have found to how leaders think, act and communicate.
Simon asks: “Why do you do what you do? Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers might have little in common, but they all started with “why.” It was their natural ability to start with “why” that enabled them to inspire those around them and to achieve remarkable things.
In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, I have discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way – and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. I call this powerful idea “The Golden Circle,” and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with “why.”
Any organisation can explain what it does; some can explain how they do it; but very few can clearly articulate why. “Why” is not money or profit – those are always results.
Why does your organisation exist? Why does it do the things it does? Why do customers really buy from one company or another? Why are people loyal to some leaders, but not others?
Starting with “why” works in big business and small business, in the non-profit world and in politics. Those who start with “why” never manipulate, they inspire. And the people who follow them don’t do so because they have to; they follow because they want to.”
In this brain-based model the people’s reasoning is explained in three major components. The Neo Cortex (What level) and the Lymbic Brain (How and Why levels). The Neo Cortex is the part of our brain that deals with rational and analytical thought and language. The Lymbic brain deals with feeling, trust, loyalty, behaviour, decision making, and has no capacity for language. Primarily decisions made on emotion rather than explanation. We do make our decisions through how we feel first rather than how much information we can gather.
People can understand vast amounts of complicated information, features, benefits, facts and figures, it just doesn’t drive behaviour. These things do not drive a person to make a decision to buy or to want to know more about your product or business. What drives behaviour is working, communicating and selling from the inside out, the why, not the other way around.
When you communicate from your ‘why’ more often, you are talking directly to the brain that controls decision making and behaviour and then people have the opportunity to rationalise it with tangible things – not the other way around.
A business or movement is not just about its product, the ideas or even the benefit it will be to the customer. A business requires a firm foundation based on why it exists, who it services and the pioneering spirit to grow and follow through. For this to be believed and supported the message always begins with why we are, why we can be of service and why you can trust us.
People do business with those they believe in not necessarily those that have what they need.
Great communicators and those who have a goal to do well in business realise it is the why they do what they do (their purpose) and what they stand for that people buy into. To inspire and lead know and express your why often. Remember that your why is just that, your why. To have the most impact it must be honest. People resonate with honest and real.
Don’t make up something that you think is what people want to know, or the most awe inspiring. Your why will appeal to more people than you can imagine. It could just be a case of having to be with kids and still make money, it could be a desire to help after surviving your own challenges or even a desire to be successful. Whatever it is, when you are authentic and create that connection you are a true leader.
So do you have a great idea or product? Do you want to inspire others to take action?
If you answered yes, be able to put into words why you exist, speak of your why/purpose and what problem you will be solving for the people you target, and then get to the how and what. People who feel good about you will remember you, recommend you and ultimately do business with you.