Start with Why, Not What

Emotion is a far greater motivator of action than rational thought!

Great leaders and great companies inspire action by starting with why, not what (see the Holstee Manifesto). Rather than say what they want you to do, or what product they want you to buy, they start with why–their purpose or core belief. They understand that emotions are connected with purpose.

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why, recently gave a talk at TEDxPugetSound that captures why great people and great companies start with 'why' when motivating others.

Watch the first 10 or 11 minutes and ask yourself...

  • Do I lead 'what→how→why' or 'why→how→what'?
  • Does my company market its products or services 'what→how→why' or 'why→how→what'?

Take Action: If you don't lead with why (and I don't much of the time), take the next step with me and start leading with purpose.