Summary of How Great Leaders Inspire Action - Simon Sinek

Mar 17, 2013 -

Great Leaders Inspire Action - Summary

We believe that everyone has a right to this information and therefore would like to share it with you. The greatest leaders of all-time act and communicate differently from the average person.  Simon Sinek discusses the secrets behind a successful business.  

This is a summary of How Great Leaders Inspire Action. 

People don't buy what you do they buy why you do it.

This is the golden circle. If you work from inside out you have the Why? followed by the How? and then the What? 

Most people know what they do. Some people know how to do it. Why is your purpose or cause. It answers why should anyone care or get out of bed. 

Most companies work from outside in. This mean they answer the What, How and Why in that order. Let me give you an example. If Apple were to follow that model this is what their company message would be (in the order presented). 

What? - We make great computers. 
How? - They are beautify designed and user friendly.
Why? - Do you want to buy one? 

Instead their vision is as follows (in the order presented)

Why? - Everything we do we believe in challenging the status quo; we believe in thinking differently.  
How? - The way we challenge status quo is by making our products designed and user friendly.
What? - We just happen to make computers, do you want to buy one?

How Great Leaders Inspire Action is ingrained in our Biology

The What is "governed" by the Neocortex that deals with rational and analytic thought. The Why and How is "controlled" by the limbic system of the brain which focuses on decision making and feelings such as loyalty and trust. It is the system that leads you to say, you are leading with your heart or going with your gut. 

The Problem With A Failed Business is Three Things - Capital, Wrong People, Bad Market Conditions

So you thought that was the problem. But, that isn't the problem. Samuel Langley had all the money, support from people, and market conditions were great. He attempted to build an airplane, but he failed. Contrast this with the Wright Brothers, who did not have capital and few people working for them. However, the few people who did work or supported the Wright Brothers worked for blood sweat and tears. When the Wright Brothers figured out how to build an airplane, the world didn't hear about it until a few days later. The day Langley found out, he quit. Instead of saying let's improve on your idea, he quit. His motivation was for fame and fortune, which ultimately led him to be unsuccessful. He didn't make money so he stopped. 

What is the Law of Diffusion of Innovation?

Innovation of products and services is comprised of the following:

2.5% are Innovators 
13.5% are Early Adopters
34% are Early Majority
34 are Late Majority
16% are Laggards - Theses are the ones who can't buy old technology anymore so are forced to buy what is existing.

If you want to hit the mass market, you'll have to achieve 15-18% market penetration. The way you do this is by having people buy why you do not what you do.

Here is another example of a famous failure.

TiVo was/is the single highest quality product of it's kind on the market. The market accepted the product and they had funding. But, it failed because nobody cared. They marketed it as a product whereby you can skip commercials and record shows. Imagine if they were to communicate first... if you are the kind of person who needs to control different things. Things might have been different.

Dr. Martin Luther King did not have the internet but he had a gift

Somehow he was able to aggregate a huge amount of people the day of his speech. But they came because of what they believed not for Dr. King. 

Dr. King talked about what he believed. People believed. It wasn't about black versus white. It was about a higher authority above what man has made. Notice that he had a "I have a dream speech" and not "I have a plan speech".

People follow leaders and those who inspire not because they have to, but because they want to.

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