Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start With Why’ is highly insightful and pathbreaking. It acts like a torch bearer for entrepreneurs. For someone starting afresh it lays out a roadmap and a structure. It helps you ask the right question before you embark on a new venture.
The book stresses on the importance of ‘purpose’ for every business. Every single company and organisation knows what they do. They can easily describe the products or services a company offer or the job function they have within that system. It is not very difficult to answer the ‘whats.‘
Companies are always on the hunt to answer the what’s and the how’s. Especially because they are often given to explain ‘how’ something is different or better, like USP or value proposition. But what most of them miss out on is the answer to the question ‘why.’
So, before anyone plans to start a venture, one needs to know Why they do What they do – what is your purpose, cause or belief? When most companies and people think, act or communicate they do so from the outside in, from WHAT to WHY.
I find that every problem or even mundane problems of life can be solved if we know the answer to the question WHY. WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?
It is very difficult to seek an answer to why but, you can inspire people when you focus on the reason why. You won’t manage it by focusing on how you do things or what you are doing. That is the idea driving Simon Sinek and it is compelling.
He cites Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and others who inspire followers because they are at the least able to articulate a belief. After all, how can we expect people to share our conviction if we cannot articulate it? Beyond messages, proof points and sound bite Sinek goes to the heart of the belief and trust we place in people and organisations.
The best organizations foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build a Circle of Safety. This safe culture leads to stable, adaptive, confident teams, where everyone feels they belong. We are drawn to leaders and organisations that are good at communicating what they believe.
Answering the right question is the first step to good leadership. He says, great leaders are those who trust their gut. They are those who understand the art before science they win hearts before minds. They are the ones who start with WHY.
If you don’t have the answer to the very purpose of your venture then you will not be able to convince others in the power and ability of your product. A good leader does exactly that, he inspires and encourages others to see what he believes in.
There are many ways to motivate people to do things, but loyalty comes from the ability to inspire people. Only when the WHY is clear and when people believe what you believe can a true relationship develop.
Throughout the book and with my learnings at Diamond Bank I found myself wholeheartedly agreeing with Sinek’s observations that there are no short cuts to long-term success. Besides being the best advice for entrepreneurs, the very fact — “Start with Why” helps one to become a better communicator as a mother, father, husband, boss or even a good person.