Marketing Takeaways from Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why”

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

According to Simon Sinek, the fundamental difference between the “Apples” of the world and everyone else is that they start with “why.”

What does that even mean? To explain this concept, Sinek has developed what he calls the “Golden Circle,” image pictured right. The golden circle has three layers:

Why – This is the core belief of the business. It’s why the business exists.
How – This is how the business fulfills that core belief.
What – This is what the company does to fulfill that core belief.
Sounds simple, but what Sinek found is that most companies do their marketing backwards. They start with their “what” and then move to “how” they do it. Most of these companies neglect to even mention why they do what they do. More alarmingly, many of them don’t even know why they do what they do!

Not Apple. Apple starts with “why.” It is the core of their marketing and the driving force behind their business operations. To help illustrate this point, imagine if Apple also started backwards by creating a marketing message that started with “what.”

“We make great computers. They’re user friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. Want to buy one?”

While these facts are true, I’m not sold. We instead want to know why they are great and user friendly. Turns out Apple has figured this out over the years and knows better. Here’s what a real marketing message from Apple might actually look like:

“With everything we do, we aim to challenge the status quo. We aim to think differently. Our products are user friendly, beautifully designed, and easy to use. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”

See how different that feels? Because Apple starts with “why” when defining their company, they are able to attract customers who share their fundamental beliefs. As Sinek puts it, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” Starting with “why” makes Apple more than just a computer company selling features, and that’s why their products have flourished while their competitors’ products with similar technology and capabilities have often flopped.

But enough about Apple. Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” philosophy isn’t just about billion dollar businesses. It also has implications for inbound marketers in any sized business. Let’s take a look at some of the key marketing takeaways from the “Start With Why” philosophy.

3 Key Takeaways for Inbound Marketers

1. Step Back and Use “Why” to Think About Your Own Business

Do you know your company’s “why”? (Hint: It’s not to make money). Think about the core purpose of your business, and then think about how you market your products or services. Are they aligned? As Sinek has found, having loyal customers is all about attracting the people who share your fundamental beliefs. Remember: People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

Yes, this might seem obvious, but it’s a critical step that is often overlooked. If you were (or are) the founder of your business, wouldn’t you want the people marketing it to know why you started it in the first place? Understanding “why” is essential to knowing how to communicate “how” and “what” you do.

2. Incorporate “Why” into Your Marketing Copy

The idea of starting with “why” is also a copy writing best practice. The next time you’re writing an email, a blog post, or a landing page, start your writing with “why.” You see, “why” explains the underlying value of what you’re promoting. Consider these two opening sentences to a hypothetical email:

“Check out our new ebook, 7 Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media. We’ll show you the seven most effective ways to use social media to generate leads for your business.”

Or…

“In the past decade, social media has become a very powerful tool for businesses. More and more businesses are adopting social media strategies to fuel their lead generation. In our new ebook, we’ll show you the seven most effective ways to use social media for your business. Check out 7 Ways to Generate Leads with Social Media.”

What we’ve found is that the second type of email copy leads to a significantly higher click-through rate. Communicating the value (aka the “why”) right off the bat sparks the reader’s intrigue, at which point all you need to do is close the deal with the details (how and what).

3. Redefine your Buyer Personas

I’ll say it again: People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.

With that mind, think about your buyer personas for a moment. Are they based purely on target demographics and assumed characteristics? Are they the kinds of people who might share your core values? What is it that drives your buyer personas to buy your products and remain loyal over a long period of time?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s ok! You don’t necessarily have to scrap your buyer personas and start over. Just add more context to who they are and how they identify with your “why.” Doing so will get you to start thinking about the internal motivation that goes behind their purchase decisions. Perhaps you are a small business with large competitors and your customers are loyal to you because they like to support the little guy. Maybe you’re making the world a better place, and your customers love you because they believe in your cause. Whatever the reason, redefining your buyer personas to match your “why” is critical in creating marketing that inspires them to continue advocating for you.
http://blog.hubspot.com/customers/3-takeaways-from-start-with-why

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7 Lenses,Fisher Thornton

In the above latest book, author says, When we use all 7 Lenses together we see a kaleidoscopic view of ethical leadership that honors its inherent complexity

Lens One: Profit – Make Money
Lens Two: Law – Comply
Lens Three: Character – Be Moral
Lens Four: People – Care
Lens Five: Communities – Serve
Lens Six: Planet – Sustain
Lens Seven: Greater Good – Do Good

Then she talks about six connected trends shaping the future of ethical leadership:

Broadening scope
Increased visibility
Focus on protecting human rights
Companies contributing to society
Managing ethics as a performance system
Retooling skills to stay ethically competent

Thereafter Fisher Thornton introduces 14 Guiding Principles of Ethical Leadership to help incorporate the 7 Lenses into day-to-day decisions and actions:

Lead With a Moral Compass

Principle 1: Demonstrate Personal Congruence
Principle 2: Be Morally Aware
Principle 3: Stay Competent
Principle 4: Model Expected Performance and Leadership
Lead in Ways That Bring Out the Best in Others

Principle 5: Respect Others
Principle 6: Respect Boundaries
Principle 7: Trust and Be Trustworthy
Principle 8: Communicate Openly
Principle 9: Generate Effective and Ethical Performance
Lead With Positive Intent and Impact

Principle 10: Think Like an Ethical Leader
Principle 11: Do Good Without Doing Harm
Principle 12: Work for Mutually Beneficial Solutions
Lead for the Greater Good

Principle 13: Protect Our Planet for Future Generations
Principle 14: Improve Our Global Society for Future

 

Finally she sums up saying,Ethical leadership is a way of thinking that leads to new behaviour and outcomes that benefit everyone.

“”Zap the Gaps! ISBN 0060503009 “”

“”Zap the Gaps! ISBN 0060503009 “”
Target Higher Performance and Achieve It!
By Ken Blanchard, Dana Robinson, and Jim Robinson
Published by HarperCollins Publishers 2002
In a nutshell
Characters : Angela Krafft results-oriented boss,Bill Ambers protagonist director of customer service in a call center,Sarah HR counterpart and mentor, Landscaper Michael St. Vincent
About :Identifying gaps that costs billions and their causes so as to dig right solutions > companies and persons have a lot of uniqueness in them like Plants or Trees or other living beings
Identify The Business Needs by asking “What is our reason for being?” Kill the problem at the first point of contact once and for all, by improving the capabilities to achieve peak performance all time in an empowering environment.
What would YOU need to ‘do more’, ‘do better’, or ‘do differently’ to compete with others like you.
Now Replace YOU with your team, or your company or your supplier or your customer.. you would have now got answers to all your questions
What you SHOULD be doing can be seen and learnt from the STAR performers in the field
When you want to know something., or when someone wants your advice., you should;
Greet and welcome whole heartedly. Ask openend questions for they yeild better quallity and quantity of requisite information . Listen fully and acknoweldge the issue on hand. Be Emphathetic to fit the emotions and feelings of the parties concerned. Refrain being argumentative or defensive or combative. Dont just react , respond measuredly. Identify the key expectations of counterparty and specify the deliverables that could be expected. Exhibit patience, promptnes ,accuracy, comprehensive solution. Apologize, and accept mistakes. Thank for the oppurtunity, express genuine gratitute
What ‘is’ is not as important as what ‘should’ be. What is external and internal to an organization affects its culture a lot But What is internal to a individual affect his permormce more so than any thing else !! The Skill Knowledge and Talent count!!! Pint down the actual issue causer that needs resolution
Expertise canbe gained fast but Experience has tobe earned over a period of time .Specialization do help for firefighting faster, but generalization facilitates handling any situation with ease Communications problem can be eaasily solved if there is a good network and rapport Availability of Adequte information helps in correct and timely decisions Clear expectations bring about rewarding performance. Choose the right mix of actions to solve the issue on hand.

Excellent Leaders, The MOMENTS That Define you

Excellent Leaders, The MOMENTS That Define you [Author: Lee J.Colan Publisher:Cornerstone Leadership Institute]

1 Commit: Giving your all-time best > You are the conductor of your own thoughts ,Mentally reframe challenges to view them in a positive light,Your responsibility as a leader includes always pushing your people and yourself>Think excellence “Why do we do what we do?”, Know it yourself and let your team also understand. Keep it simple people commit to what they can understand but Think big-stir the emotions,causes not goals are reasons to go to work every day >Create a compelling cause Define and live by your team’s foundational values,Look at repeat problems for symptoms of cracks in value systems,Define rules of engagement describing how a team interacts, help focus on what is critical for performance >Secure your foundation

2 Plan: Taking time out Take time to plan/ proactively estimate and forecast instead of just reacting and firefighting,Answer the questions -What are we trying to achieve? (Goals)-How are we going to achieve it? (Plans)-How can I contribute? (Roles)-What’s in it for me? (Rewards),Be more specific, have clarity,Don’t underestimate others intelligence -What am I absolutely passionate about? -Which tasks are very easy and natural for me to perform?Decide to Do or to Delegate,Match each employee’s sweet spot to job requirements,Redesign/reengineer the procedure and process work to keep your team in their sweet spots,eliminating redundancy,reduce /reuse or refuse ineffective resources utilisation >Optimize Sweetspots Cut through the complexities,simple, focused teams are more productive,Identifying this 20 percent of things which are responsible for 80 percent of profits allows you to concentrate 80 percent of your efforts on areas in which they will be most effective so as to Leverage your vital few and minimize your trivial many>Magnify your leadership

3 Act: Making every minute count Excellence belongs to those who act [and grab Life rewards ]instead of making excuses and be inactive Look for excellence in all you do and excellence will find you.Focusing on positive aspects of life attracts “luck”. Look at how adn where you spend your time and enery and resources.Hard work is the best predictor for success>Check your focus Learn to say NO to good so as to say YES to better use of resources,Dont let go team’s time, money and energy wasted in meetings,Do not worry about things that are outside your control and loose focus by being unnecessarily concerned>Treasure your precious resources Spend your time making meaningful decisions, on-line real-time , on those important and urgent issues,Collect the best information you can quickly, then use your leadership intuition to make the decision,Listen more and speak less, look for body langauge and non verbal cues,read between lines, feel the pulse,the higher you are in an organization, the more filtered the information you receive > validate your inputs before decisions

4 Connect: Reaching for the hands of time Showing appreciation is a matter of priority and action, appreciate the subtle difference in treatment between a person and an employee,reinforces desired behavior by more positive intereactions for every negative interaction, appreciate inpublic and scold in private, Employee recognition is more effective when it is tailored to the individual >Look beyond your employees Methodically cultivate relationships/network, get trends and grapewine information,have good MIS,make best your of data on hand and respond fast , take help, research, ask >Cultivate your network Use Effective fun, simple and meaningful,rituals to reinforce your team values for better interaction that fit both your leadership style and the chemistry of the team, few but deep >Ritualize your team -Revitalize

5 Invest: Giving your time to improve a life Mentor for success in work and life of our colleagues,Coach well the first time avoiding cost of repetition by proper investment of a leader’s time and energy,Experiences help you and your employees grow > INSPIRE and Motivate Living your legacy is often the best way to ensure that it will remain, and is also a good way to lead through example Passing the baton to someone you have invested in and seeing your values reflected in that person is one of the most joyful moments for any leader.Even small investments can pay off> Live and Leave your legacy Embrace lifelong learning & build self confidence and instil confidence on team, Use your downtime as mental uptime– read, listen, learn, visualize ,Take help from mentors to get valuable answers to tough questions> Exercise your brain as much as your body

6 Change: Adapting to the times Constantly examine your boundaries to determine if they should be let down for expansion or kept up When you feel you are cruising to victory, take a look around, be humble and focused on the next level, Discomfort allows you to keep your momentum and gives a healthy alertness of where you can improve. > Delight in discomfort Since fear of the unknown is always the strongest, defining moments can occur when you choose to know your fears,act on them, don’t react to them,seek noholds barred input,allowe and accept differing opinions > Get rational about your fears Be Convinced that YOU [your team ] make the difference,Change the world with one small act of yours, one at tiem,regularly,frequently,always pursuing excellence for you and the people around you. >Multiply your power of one

7 Conquer: Standing the test of time Real survivors are masters of their own circumstances, never victims of them. Take inventory of what is lost and what is not, Be thankful, Appreciate the graces,Convert turning points into learning points,Do not obsess about yesterday and do not be seduced by the promise that tomorrow >Move through adversity steadfastedly List your non-negotiables ,be bold and faithful,Excellent leaders break the rules on knowing what is right and acting on it cultiving courage to conquer outside forces, and humility to conquer the inside ones> Take your stand Most people fail because they do not stick to it long enough to succeed Ignoring the odds and critics, never ever giving up, always have faith in yourself and your team > Stick to it Patiently

Manage People Productively

To know how to infuse work with meaning and how to energize and engage the workforce how to how to lead those around Read 123 pages of Way of the Shepherd, The 7 Ancient Secrets to Managing Productive People By Dr. Kevin Leman and William Pentak OR Learn that leadership is personal not professional as can be found below:
Know the Condition of Your Flock > Focus more on people rather than on projects/process/procedure. Recognize each invidual is unique. Discover their personal taste/talents/aspirations and skill and not just treat as another headcount, and connect to them by engaging Be sensitive to employees’ sentiments. People don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care
Discover the Shape of Your Sheep > Arrange to facilitate acquisition of skill set needed to do the job by training , matching their talents.Fing what they are passionate about and place them accordingly.pick attitude over talent. Since a person is a product of their life experiences,match their job with personality
Help Your Sheep Identify with You > appreciate the need to belong, be authentic and commpassionate so that they love to follow you, simultaneously set high standards of integrity and Eliminate uncertainty and exhibit your love for the cause. Make People feel like you couldn’t do it without them but also Cull chronic instigators ; offer regular job rotation to prevent moss,use persuasion rather than coercion.
Make Your Pasture a Safe Place >Remember People can handle the uncertainty of tomorrow if they can see a leader they are certain they can trust today. Scold the situation not the person.
The Staff of Direction > Give your people freedom but demarcate the limits also, not micro management but proper delegation, though you give the authority to them, you hold the responsibility.Let them know that failure isn’t fatal and that they can learn from their mistakes
The Rod of Correction > Fight for them against external enemies ,Approach discipline as an instructive exercise /teaching opportunity.Regularly inquire about your people’s progress,ask how they’re doing,challenge to grow.
The Heart of the Shepherd >If it’s greatness you want, it’s greatness you must give , Invest Time Enegry and commitment , By focusing on people do not let go of the jobg targets

Habits of Character and Leadership

Thoughts By Brian Tracy on Habits of Character and Leadership 
• The ultimate aim of human life and activity is development of character, according to Aristotle. The most
important goal you could hope to accomplish in the course of your life is to become an excellent person,
in every respect. Your purpose should be to develop the kind of personality and character that earns you
the respect, esteem, and affection of the important people in your world.
• Develop Your Own Character :Aristotle, probably the greatest philosopher and thinker of all time, said a
simple method can help, if you wish to learn a virtue later in life. Simply practice the virtue in every
situation where that virtue is required. In other words, if you wish to develop the quality of courage, act
courageously even when you feel afraid.
• Aspire to Leadership :It is not easy to rise to a position of leadership in any organization or in
any society. The competition for leadership is fierce. Only the people who are the very best equipped to
acquire leadership positions and then to hold on to those positions rise to the top in any area.
• Whatever It Takes :In a way, leadership is "situational." What is necessary for success in a leadership
position is determined by many factors, including the people to be led; the objectives to be accomplished;
the competition for resources; the social, cultural, political, and economic environment; and the situation
that the leader finds at the moment. Changing any of these factors will change the qualities of leadership
necessary for success.
• The True Test of a Leader:Peter Drucker says the only event that is inevitable in the like of the leader is
the "unexpected crisis." Only when you encounter a setback, an obstacle, a difficulty, or the inevitable
crisis, do you demonstrate the kind of person you really are. It is not what you say, wish, hope, or intend
that reveals your character. It is only your actions, especially your actions in the face of adversity and
possible setbacks or losses.
• You Are Responsible :Once you have developed a clear vision for your ideal future and resolve
to develop unshakable courage by doing the things you fear, you must develop the habit of accepting
complete responsibility for yourself and for every aspect of your life.
• Tell the Truth :Perhaps the most important quality of leadership is the habit of integrity.
You develop integrity and become a completely honest person by practicing telling the truth to yourself
and others in every situation. Shakespeare wrote, "To thine own self be true," meaning that you are what
you believe in. You must continually clarify what you stand for and what you will not stand for. Once
you have decided that you are going to build your life around certain values, you refuse to compromise
those values for anything.
• Action Exercise :Imagine that you could write your own eulogy. How would you like to be
remembered and described by others when you are gone?

Plan and Prepare;Thoughts By Brian Tracy

Use A Time Planner A time planner, broken down by day, hour and minute, organized in advance, can be one of the most powerful, personal productivity tools of all. It enables you to see where you can consolidate and create blocks of time for concentrated work. Eliminate All Distractions During this working time, you turn off the telephone, eliminate all distractions and work non-stop. One of the best work habits of all is for you to get up early and work at home in the morning for several hours. You can get three times as much work done at home without interruptions as you ever could in a busy office where you are surrounded by people and bombarded by phone calls. Create an Office in the Air When you fly on business, you can create your office in the air by planning your work thoroughly before you depart. When the plane takes off, you can work non-stop for the entire flight. You will be amazed at how much work you can go through when you work steadily in an airplane, without interruptions. Make Every Minute Count One of the keys to high levels of performance and productivity is for you to make every minute count. Use travel and transition time, what is often called “gifts of time” to complete small chunks of larger tasks. Remember, the pyramids were built one block at a time. A great life and a great career is built one task, and often, one part of a task, at a time. Your job in time management is to deliberately and creatively organize the concentrated time periods you need to get your key jobs done well, and on schedule. Action Exercises Here are two steps you can take immediately to put these ideas into action. First, think continually of different ways that you can save, schedule and consolidate large chunks of time. Use this time to work on important tasks with the most significant long-term consequences. Second, make every minute count. Work steadily and continuously without diversion or distraction by planning and preparing your work in advance. Most of all, keep focused on the most important results for which you are responsible.