Believing Why – The Behavior of Inspiring Leaders

Simon Sinek presented his theory on the power behind the greatest leaders in the world, past and present. This brief presentation can literally change the way you look at the highest achievers in the world today.

Essentially the idea is rationalized into three parts. Why, how, and what.

Sinek emphasizes that the most successful leaders and innovators “inspire action” by doing things that make other people believe in what they are doing. His thoughts are focused on the common theme of attracting people to believe in your thoughts and ideals. When you attract people who have a common belief, they begin to join you because they are attracted to why you are doing something, not what you are doing.

The easiest example he demonstrates with this theory is Apple:

Apple believes in making great user experiences. Apple makes great user experiences by building products with exceptional design. The products that they happen to make best are computers.

Towards the end of Sinek’s presentation, he makes note on why it is important to do things on the basis of persuading other people to believe what you believe. He explains the benefits of “starting with why” by showing the Law of Diffusion of Innovation:

First 2.5% of population:  Innovators

Next 13.5%:  Early Adopters

Next 34%:  Early Majority

Next 34%:  Late Majority

Final 16%:  Laggards

The difference between ideas that change the world and ideas that are simple fads is the 15-18% tipping point. After this tipping point, it’s highly likely that the mainstream adoption will occur, and greater than 80% of the mass market will at least accept the idea.

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

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04 2011