I am inspired very easily, and I blog every time I feel something. I let this inspiration flow through me and exit my fingertips.
I just happened upon a Ted Talk video that I had seen a couple of years ago. It’s titled “Start With The Why” and the man who is speaking goes by the name of Simon Sinek. This guy is brilliant. If you have 20 minutes, go to YouTube and type in ‘Start with the why.’
A few years ago, he established a concept called the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle explains how, even when competition has the same resources, technology, and media, some companies and organizations are able to fulfill excellence and soar above all. Apple is a prime example, and I will get into that.
Anyway, the golden circle contains a small circle (WHY), inside a medium circle (HOW), which is inside yet another, bigger circle (WHAT). Sinek claims that most organizations and companies begin with the concept of the outside circle in mind, the what, then venture on to establish the how… but they never get to the why. I’ll use the same example that Sinek uses, which is that of computer companies.
This is how the marketing message for most computer companies may look: “We build computers.” That is the what. “They are easy and fun to use, and beautifully designed.” The how. Wanna buy one?
This is how Apple markets their products. “We believe in thinking differently and challenging the status quo.” The why. “We do that by creating products that are beautifully designed and easy to use.” The how. “We just happen to build computers.” Wanna buy one?
This proves that people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it. They don’t buy Apple’s computers because they want to just give them their money; they connect to why they are built. They buy their products for themselves, not because they want to support the company. In other words, why do most people not know that that Dell created an mp3 player that nobody bought? Dell is a popular computer company, right? Well, they don’t begin with their purpose in mind, as Apple does.
How can this apply to your own life? Think about what I’ve written. GO* watch the video. GO* get inspired. Sit down and draw out a concept map of your organization or company. Sell the idea of why you are doing something, not what it is you are doing.
You’re not doing what you’re doing to make a profit, or to “help” people. You can go deeper than that. For example, I am in Habitat for Humanity. Why does this organization exist?
To eliminate sub-standard housing? To help people get off the streets and live in affordable housing? To be a better Christian or member of society?
NO! Those are all products.
The why consists of something much, much deeper than that. In Habitat, we believe in challenging the status quo, showing the world that students have potential to make a difference.
The how: we do that by creating opportunities for students to be a part of making a difference, eliminating sub-standard housing.
And the kicker: We happen to build homes.