Simon Sinek in Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action discusses how great leaders, organizations, and companies start with and are clear on their “why” before developing their “what” and “how”. These organizations have followers who also believe in the “why”. The best are able to achieve success without losing sight of their why when the results come. The last blog in this series will focus on how you can discover your own “why” and share that vision with your followers.
According to Sinek, “being a leader requires one thing and one thing only: followers.” And not just subordinates or people following because they are being paid or they have to, but people who want to follow you. No matter what you are doing professionally or athletically now, ask yourself a few questions about your followers. Do you have any followers? Why are they following you? Do your followers connect and understand your “why”?
Additionally, Sinek describes two important requirements of leadership. Leaders “must have a vision of the world that does not exist, and they must have the ability to communicate it.” Using the example of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak of Apple believed they could “put a ding in the universe” and through that why they brought the world of computers to an individual’s hands. They created a revolution based on a vision that only they could see. Next, they shared that revolution with the world. And then, through billions of dollars of success, Apple stayed true to its “why” and maintained balance and authenticity in their original purpose. Think about your vision of the world that does not yet exist. What is your vision? How can you communicate this vision to others?
Some people have a clear vision, but lack the ability to communicate their vision to others. Visionaries then spend time frustrated about how others “don’t get it” and fail to have a following. Other people are clear communicators, but lack the vision. To be the best leader you can be – let your vision be driven by your “why” and then communicate your vision to the world. “Leaders don’t have all the great ideas; they provide support for those who want to contribute. Leaders achieve very little by themselves; they inspire people to come together for the good of the group. Leaders never start with what needs to be done. Leaders start with WHY we need to do things. Leaders inspire action.”
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