If you're a leader, entrepreneur, instructor or practically any person that needs to convince anyone of anything, chances are you've tried to inspire a group of people before. With that inspiration, you can only hope that action ensues. If you've ever failed to get that type of reaction from someone, author Simon Sinek has an idea why.
"Evey single person, every single organization on the planet knows what they do, 100%," Sinek said in a speech he gave at a TED conference in 2010. "Some know how they do it... But very very few people from organizations know why they do what they do. And by 'why' I don't mean to make a profit..."
It's the "why" that Sinek places his emphasis on while trying to explain to his audience the way to go about inspiring people. Those who you want to follow you, he says, need to understand your beliefs and reason for existence.
In other words, the message is simple: advertising a profound belief is always better than advertising impressive facts.
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it," Sinek said. "The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have, the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe."
The key to this strategy is that it involves speaking to the part of the brain that controls emotion and behavior. When you speak about purpose, when you speak in a manner that makes someone feel as if they're a part of something bigger, you can trigger the section of a person's mind that controls action.
"Here's the best part, none of what I'm telling you is my opinion, it's all grounded in the tenants of biology... this is where gut decisions come from," Sinek says, as he explains the way the mind works.
To support his arguments, the speaker referenced many companies and their successes or failures. For Instance, he cited Apple and the Wright Brothers as organizations that were successful because they were driven by what they believed and by the fact that they had the conviction that they could change the world.
On the other hand, he also referenced Tivo and Dell as entities who have failed in certain aspects because they didn't sell a purpose. But perhaps the most convincing portion of his argument came when he spoke about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s success in attracting 250,000 people to Washington in 1963.
"Dr. [Martin Luther] King wasn't the only man in America who was a great orator," Sinek said. "He wasn't the only man in America who suffered in pre-civil rights America. In fact, some of his ideas were bad. But he had a gift. He didn't go around telling people what needed to be changed in America, he went around an told people what he believed... And people who believed what he believed took his cause and made it their own."
Making your cause also someone else's: the very theme of a speech with a message that was heard loud and clear. Sell what you believe, let what you do serve as proof of that believe and make people feel invested in your purpose instead of merely impressed by your accomplishments.
Photo Via Funky Space Monkey