In this motivational talk on how great leaders inspire action, Simon Sinek asks, “Why is Apple so innovative? Why is it that Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights Movement…why him?” As he wondered how to explain why others achieve things that defy the odds, he made a discovery that revealed a pattern behind their apparent success.
Terming it the “golden circle”, the author and motivational speaker explains in this Ted Talk, “As it turns out, all the great inspiring leaders and organisations in the world, whether it’s Apple or Martin Luther King or the Wright brothers, they all think, act and communicate the exact same way. And it’s the complete opposite to everyone else. All I did was codify it, and it’s probably the world’s simplest idea. I call it the golden circle.”
All inspired leaders think from the inside out. They have a defined purpose. He remarks, “When we can communicate from the inside out, we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behaviour, and then we allow people to rationalise it with the tangible things we say and do. This is where gut decisions come from. Sometimes you can give somebody all the facts and figures, and they say, ‘I know what all the facts and details say, but it just doesn’t feel right’. Why would we use that verb, it doesn’t ‘feel’ right? Because the part of the brain that controls decision-making doesn’t control language.”
He adds, “I hate to break it to you, those aren’t other body parts controlling your behaviour. It’s all happening here in your limbic brain, the part of the brain that controls decision-making and not language.”
Giving the example of Dr Martin Luther King, he said, “Dr King believed that there are two types of laws in this world: those that are made by a higher authority and those that are made by men. And not until all the laws that are made by men are consistent with the laws made by the higher authority will we live in a just world. It just so happened that the Civil Rights Movement was the perfect thing to help him bring his cause to life. We followed, not for him, but for ourselves. By the way, he gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan’ speech.”
He concludes, “Whether they’re individuals or organisations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it’s those who start with ‘why’ that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them.”