Know your why

Recently I was watching “Simon Sinek: Start With Why” and it got me wondering how I can use his principles of the golden circle, on myself at a personal level, and on MillionK processes. The idea is that all communication happens in 3 main categories. These categories are outlined in the diagram below.


The “What”:

Everyone knows what he or she does. They know exactly what processes they follow. This is the actual work that you do. So, for example, my personal “what” would be:

  • Collect Data on Target Audience
  • Analyze Web Traffic on a Day-to-Day basis, then on a weekly basis
  • Create comprehensive marketing plans and campaigns …

The point is, this is the action that is done with the purpose of completing a goal.

The “How”:

This the “Value Proposition” or your unique selling point. That is also a very straight forward concept that goes over the tools you use, the people you hire and the process you use. This is another layer of communication that most people tend to focus on. Let’s take computers for example if someone walks in trying to sell you one discussing CPU, RAM, HDD, Screen Resolution …etc. But these specs are how they made this particular piece of hardware special.

The “Why”:

Generally speaking, this is the hardest question to answer in anything. It is the thing that people can rarely articulate, or even know. It is the thing that tells you if what you are doing “feels right or wrong”. This is generally sprouting from your most basic emotional ideas and decisions. This is the reason why very few people can accurately convey their “whys” but they let their gut guide them.


 How do we apply this to business?


When we consider most sales pitches on a day-to-day basis we find ourselves focusing mostly on the “what” and the “how” of our product and service. It’s very rare that you find people who discuss “why” you should buy or do something. I would be very surprised if even I have managed to articulate the why in most of my own sales pitches. I believe the fault lies in our inherent belief that since we know the “why“, and it is obvious to us, it would be obvious to the customer. After all, if he didn’t know why he needed us, why would he accept to meet us in the first place? Most of us tend to communicate in the following pattern:

We always want to explain what our company is and how our process is so special. We want to go granular in discussing components and unique selling positions, often forgetting the needs of the client. We often forget why we created the product or service in the first place. And because we forget, we don’t convey that to our teams and wonder why they don’t manage to sell like we do.

“If you hire people who don’t believe what you believe, they will work for the money. But, if you hire people who believe what you believe, they will work with blood and sweat.” ~ Simon Sinek

How do the greats do it?

When studying the greatest communicators in the world, you will notice that they inherently operate using the “why” principle without noticing it. Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Gandhi … the examples are endless. My favorite example is Elon Musk. When Elon Musk, founded SpaceX, it wasn’t because he wanted to make money off of government contracts. Nor was it because he knew how to build a cheaper rocket, but it was because he wanted to reach Mars and advance humanity. Everyone who went to work for Musk, wanted to join because they wanted to change the world, not for profit.

Great leaders communicate starting from the why, and it shows in the results they produce.


By | 2017-08-16T12:11:09+00:00 August 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|