The Power of Why

What is it that separates our favorite companies (looking at you Southwest Airlines) and leaders (hello Sheryl Sandberg) from the rest? Simon Sinek believes the answer lies in cultivating a strong sense of “Why.” These leaders, companies, and products have a clearly defined purpose.

Simon, an unshakable optimist, leadership guru, and visionary founder—is the author behind the best-selling book Start with Why and the influential TED talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” Guided by his principles of inspiration and mission-driven living, cred spent the last month exploring our own Why. Here’s what we learned!

 
 Simon Sinek explains the Golden Circle, courtesy of TED

Simon Sinek explains the Golden Circle, courtesy of TED

 
  • Start with a Map: Seeking the Why behind personal and professional actions is an extremely daunting task. To alleviate confusion, Simon introduces a clear framework for organization called the Golden Circle. The Golden Circle is a schematic that helps visualize the What, How, and Why behind a person or product.  Here’s the breakdown:
    • WHAT: These are products or services.
      • If we take cred for example, the WHAT is securing speaking opportunities for clients.
    • HOW: These illustrate the action behind a company or individual’s What.
      • For cred, our Hows are writing pitches, contacting event organizers, and building positive industry relationships.
    • WHY: The core purpose, cause, or belief!
      • cred’s Why is to connect speakers to engaged audiences so that they build thought leadership and create environments that inspire.
         
  • Craft your Purpose Statement: Once you’ve defined the What, How, and Why, it’s time to reflect on its relevance in your own life. This can take shape in many ways, but we found it helpful to create sentences with a handy template: To___ so that ___.

The first blank represents contribution— the thing you or your company does to bring about results— and the second blank represents the impact of that contribution. Plug in the blanks and - Voila! - you’ve got a purpose. While it’s never as easy as that, finding purpose is possible and an extremely rewarding journey!

  •  Share: Success goes where energy flows! Once you’ve built a purpose statement, share it in the comments below. We’d love to celebrate your mission!