People Don't Buy What You Do...

January 18, 2011

They buy why you do it. - Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek has a great TED Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action. In it, Simon asks some interesting questions:

Why is Apple so innovative? Simon observes, “Year after year, after year, after year, they're more innovative than all their competition. And yet, they're just a computer company. They're just like everyone else. They have the same access to the same talent, the same agencies, the same consultants, the same media. Then why is it that they seem to have something different?”

Why is it that Martin Luther King led the Civil Rights Movement? Simon’s observation: “He wasn't the only man who suffered in a pre-civil rights America. And he certainly wasn't the only great orator of the day. Why him?”

Simon helps us to understand how to shape organizational purpose, explaining, “…very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. And by ‘why’ I don't mean ‘to make a profit.’ That's a result. It's always a result. By ‘why’ I mean: what's your purpose? What's your cause? What's your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?”

Simon does an excellent job of summarizing his position in two sentences:

“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.”

I urge you to watch the 18 minute talk for yourself:


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