Vishnu H Prasad : An Accidental Civil Servant

Daily Ted Talk: How Great Leaders Inspire Action: Simon Sinek

The idea presented in this talk is very simple: People don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.

Simon O. Sinek (born October 9, 1973) is a British/American author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant. He is the author of three books including the 2009 best seller Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (2009).

In this talk he begins by asking us why people keep buying Apple products even though they are just another computer company which has access to the same market and inputs available to other competitors. Why is it that people keep believing in Apple’s products. The reason, he says is the difference in thought process.

He explains it with his theory of Golden Circle.

Golden Circle

Golden Circle

The white arrow depicts the way leaders think. They are clear on “why they are doing something” and then they go on into the “how to do it” and “what to do for it” part. Others generally go outside in. They are clear on what they are doing, but not so much on the how and why.

Simon Sinek has a biological explanation for this too. He says that the what part is controlled by the neo cortex of the brain which controls rational decisions, while the how and why are controlled by the limbic brain which is the seat of emotions.

I found the idea attractive. However, Mr. Sinek itself seemed to be a violator of his Golden Circle rule. He appeared to me like a person who did not know the why of his action. There was “something” missing in it for me.

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