Become An Inspiring Leader

Can you explain to people WHY you do what you do? What moved you to start your business? What makes you get out of bed in the morning?

Author Simon Sinek describes what he calls the Golden Circle of Communication. According to Sinek, communicating the why first is communicating from the inside out and “people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.”

He presents this key to becoming an inspiring leader in a Ted Talk which you should listen to, it’s brilliant.

Sinek explains that your best customers and clients buy from you or hire you because they believe what you believe. He reminds us that Martin Luther King didn’t give an “I have a plan speech,” he gave an “I have a dream speech” and within that speech he talked about what he believed.

People didn’t necessarily connect with Martin Luther King the man, they connected with what he believed because it was the same thing that they believed. He believed that people should be treated equally under the law and that was his why.

The why that drives me forward is that I believe that all teens and young adults should have the opportunity to have the life of their dreams regardless of their life experience or current circumstances, and in light of the current economic situation, I believe we need to help them find alternatives to jobs.

Why do you do what you do?



About the Author

Danielle Cloakey - August 6, 2012

I am a childhood cancer advocate because I am a childhood cancer survivor. But who knows? Maybe if I never had cancer, I would be just as blind as 99.5% of the world… I’d like to think I wouldn’t be though.
Danielle Cloakey recently posted…Dear Johnny DeppMy Profile

    Julia - August 6, 2012

    That’s a good WHY Danielle. It would have a greater impact if you would add the part that you don’t want any other child to go through what you did as a child. Now that’s a powerful why.

Helene Poulakou - August 6, 2012

I am Greek: I love my country — the language, the letters, the landscapes, sounds, touch and feel of Greece — and I teach all these and more to those who wish to know.
I want the world to speak Greek, will you be one of us?
Hmmm… Not a bad WHY for a Greek-language-teaching site, don’t you think?
Helene Poulakou recently posted…A Candle On Your CakeMy Profile

    Julia - August 6, 2012

    It’s a good start Helene.

The Great Gordino - August 6, 2012

Great post Julia! I love the idea of the ‘why’! Cheers, Gordon
The Great Gordino recently posted…Olympic Goal Achievement – The Mark Spitz Moustache!My Profile

    Julia - August 6, 2012

    That you for reading Gordon. Is your why clear to your readers?

      The Great Gordino - August 6, 2012

      That’s a great question we should all be asking ourselves! I’m going to take another look at my blog to see if it is! I know it’s there in full, but whether it’s obvious enough is another question!
      Cheers, Gordon
      The Great Gordino recently posted…Goal Achievement- What Next For The 100 Metres?My Profile

        Julia - August 6, 2012

        That’s what I was thinking when I wrote my reply. I went to your site and while it may be there, I wasn’t sure it was your why that I was picking up or my interpretation of why you are writing what you do.

        I love that this post has started a conversation and motivated some folks to take another look. I am very excited. Thank you for making my day.

Amy Putkonen - August 6, 2012

This is fabulous. Yes. So much of how we communicate to each other is under the surface – under the words. There is something so connecting when you understand why people do what they do. Even if you don’t agree, it gives you the tools to understand how they got there and helps you to relate enough to allow them to just be themselves. Thanks for a beautiful post, Julia!
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    Julia - August 6, 2012

    Thank you for your comments Amy. Have you seen the Simon Sinek video? He inspired me a great deal. It’s about being heart centered. The why is what makes the Mac computer so popular. People could relate to why they want you to have one. The perception is it brings something bigger to your life than a PC, even though it doesn’t really.

    Your why for your blog resonates with me – it brings me a little peaceful space in my day and a deeper understanding of the way of the universe.

Jan - August 7, 2012

Hi Julia, your post has actually been sat here open since yesterday and I’ve read and re-read it. And watched the video. Then mulled over it some more…
I have a “Why I Do It” page, it tells the story of why I started MLBO. Does it say Why I do what I do? I don’t think so, it touches on the why I get up in the morning and do stuff. It doesn’t say what I believe.
There lies the mulling and pondering – what do I believe? Just saying I believe that the Internet is the great leveller, allowing small businesses to compete cost effectively isn’t really a “belief”.
My why is personal to me, I get a buzz out of doing what I do. If someone came along tomorrow and said, “Jan, here’s a house paid for and we’ll ship your groceries in each week.” I would do what I do for nothing. Money isn’t the important part, seeing people succeed and grow is.
Now I am rambling and the pondering isn’t over!
Thanks for a thought provoking post.
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    Julia - August 7, 2012

    You have made my entire month Jan. This is what blogging is about for me – getting people to think and ponder and see things in a different light. The why should have something that tugs on people’s heart strings but in an absolutely authentic way. I was very inspired by the video and have watched it many times as well. Tell me what is in your heart that sets you apart from other people who do what you do.

    I’m considering changing the I believe in the first sentence of my why to I have a dream. My why is also my mission – to provide opportunity to teens and young adults to have economic self-sufficiency.

    It’s a good thing to spend time considering because it reconnects you to the heart of your business. I’m going to look at your “Why I Do It” page now.

Christine Brady - August 7, 2012

Hi Julia,

Great thought-provoking post!

While I’m not always confident in trying new things (aka setting up a new site, I’m unsure of), but I’m confident in my why on my main site. I teach list building and email marketing – I went to college for teaching elementary students, but it just never felt right. Turns out I enjoy teaching grown-ups more than kids 🙂

Thanks for the reminder!

Christine Brady recently posted…10 Mistakes to Avoid in your Email MessagesMy Profile

    Julia - August 8, 2012

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment Christine. The point of the post was to be thought provoking and it makes me feel good to know I accomplished that. I need all the help with list building I can get. I’ll be sure to stop by your site.

Julie Jordan Scott - August 7, 2012

What great conversation you have ignited here… so much food for thought and conversation. It reminds me to spend more time energizing my WHY so that it is translatable in a more obvious way… not clunk over the head but clear, concise and easy to communicate.

Great to find you via the KABN network!
Julie Jordan Scott recently posted…Dreams and Places Left Behind and Rediscovered: Seeing & Writing with Brand New Mesa Verde ColorsMy Profile

    Julia - August 8, 2012

    This topic really hit the spot with some people. I’m so happy that it did. I’m going to check out your site and see if I can get your why.

    I’m trying to get into the habit of posting at KABN. I’m not posting at three blog challenge sites.

    Thank you for your comments.

Athena Brady (Tina Britt) - August 8, 2012

Hi Julia, I do what I do to inspire others, because I love it (Writing) and to assist others in their journeys and hopefully promote healing. Great post really enjoyed Martin Luther King is one of my inspirers, along with Mother Teresa, Nelson Madela and Ghandi.
Athena Brady (Tina Britt) recently posted…A snapshot of Marilyn Monroe, a dumb blonde or an insightful, intelligent, spiritual, young victim?My Profile

    Julia - August 8, 2012

    I’m intrigued by the title of your post. I’ll be sure to read it. Thank you for leaving your comment and sharing your why here.

    What do you believe about what you do that will make me want to hire you over someone else who loves writing and wants to inspire others?

Kama - August 12, 2012

Good post. Good question. My why? I believe that everyone has the ability to feel confident, regardless of age or situation. I believe that building self awareness opens the eyes to confidence. I believe that when you are truly confident you will shine from the inside out. I believe when you are shining with confidence then you can achieve your dreams.
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    Julia - August 13, 2012

    Thank you for leaving your comment Kama. You have a good why, I believe that too. I’d be likely to refer clients your way. Did you listen to the video? I think Simon Senik is brilliant.

Kama - August 13, 2012

It is a fabulous video, worth listening to again and again. Your post and the video have inspired me to use the words in my comment on my website, so I have made some changes. Thank you!
Kama recently posted…Comment on Saving Your Confidence For Later – S (A-Z of Confidence) by KamaMy Profile

    Julia - August 13, 2012

    I’m glad you like it. The video is on my bookmark list and I listen to it often. I’m so happy to hear that I was able to provide some inspiration, that makes my day. It is my intention to inspire and perhaps provoke introspection. Keeping in mind that these lessons are for us to be able to guide our youth toward an entrepreneur mindset, I am rewarded that it resonates with “grown-ups” because that makes me know that we can teach these ideas to our kids.

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