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Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek at TEDxPugetSound 2009

A TED Talk A Day, Day 43: gsgr

  1. The great and inspiring leaders and organisation all communicate in the same way. And it is the opposite of how most people do it.
  2. Most people and organisation know what they do. Some know how they do it. Few know why they do it.Golden Circle showing Why (centre), How (second ring). and What (outer ring)
  3. By why we we mean the purpose/cause, not the the result (e.g. making profit). Why does the organisation exist?
  4. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This explains why most people are comfortable buying a whole range of different products from Apple, even if their competitors are equally qualified to make similar products.
  5. “The goal is not to do business who need what you have; the goals it to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
  6. The Golden Circle corresponds to our biology — the human brain. Along the outer regions of the brain we have the neocortex, the “rational” part of the brain. The middle sections represent our limbic brain — which are responsible for our feelings, behaviour, and decision-making. Comparison of The Golden Circle and regions of the human brain
  7. When we speak from the inside out, we engage the limbic brain first, then allow the analytical parts of the brain to rationalise it. This is where “gut-level” decision-making comes from.
  8. “The goals it not to hire people who need a job; the goal is to hire people who believe what you believe.”
  9. Attracting people who believe what you believe is crucial when we consider the theory of the diffusion of innovationsTo get to the “tipping” point of 16% adoption rate, where we move from the “early adopters” to start of adoption by the “majority”.
  10. The key is that early adopters are driven to make gut decisions based on what they believe about the world. The majority only adopt because someone else has already adopted something.
  11. The reason why early adopters are early adopters is because they want to be first; they want to buy something that proves what they believe. What you do simply proves what you believe.
  12. People will follow those who lead for themselves, not for leaders. Leaders who lead with why merely express what people already believe.

Suggested action step: I will focus more on the Why, in all things.

Why bother leaving the house? by Ben Saunders at TEDSalon London Fall 2012

A TED Talk A Day, Day 9: Interestingly, today’s talk is related to yesterday’s, though delivered over a year earlier, after he crossed the Arctic Ocean to get to the North Pole, but before he set out on his South Pole expedition. He covers similar ground: a comic appreciation of the seeming pointlessness of his journey and the conditions he had to endure, combined with what feels to me like an inspiring belief in the power of exploration adventure.

  1. “If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy, and joy, after all, is the end of life. We don’t live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means, and that is what life is for.” – George Mallory (emphasis mine)
  2. Amazing experiences will always be unique to us, and no matter how we try words will always fall short in communicating the sheer richness of such an experience.
  3. There is something in the challenge that calls out to us — “And it seems to me, therefore, that the doing, you know, to try to experience, to engage, to endeavour,rather than to watch and to wonder, that’s where the real meat of life is to be found, the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days.”
  4. We can access so much information easily these days, but the juice of life is in actual experience — And yet, if I’ve learned anything in nearly 12 years now of dragging heavy things around cold places, it is that true, real inspiration and growth only comes from adversity and from challenge, from stepping away from what’s comfortable and familiar and stepping out into the unknown.”

Suggested action step: I will consciously step into the unknown to experience life.

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