Did you know that the part of the brain that controls decision making doesn’t control language? I didn’t. It’s one explanation for why folks might say they are leading with their gut or heart or just have a feeling, when they make a choice about something. It helps explaiin why connecting with people in a more meaningful way can drive action and loyalty.

Apple is an awesome example of a company doing just this. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a great example of a leader doing the same for a movement. Simon Sinek talks about this and more in his 18 minute TED talk on “How great leaders inspire action.” 

He talks about the Golden Circle (Why, How, What) and how you need to start with the WHY, not the how. He gives great examples of success when starting with the why, but also talks about some failures that result from doing the opposite. Like how Tivo got it wrong by leading with the how instead of the wy. Sinek’s mantra of “People dont buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.” (while a bit reptitively delivered) is totally brought to life by these examples and more. Here are a couple of my favorite qutoes from the talk:

“Martin Luther King Jr gave the ‘I have a dream’ speech, not the ‘I have a plan‘ speech”

“If Apple was like everyone else, a marketing message might be: We make great computers. They’re user friendly. Wnat to buy one? …Here’s how Apple actually communicates: Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?”

“The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have, the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

And, even though this talk is is not directly about content marketing, if you watch it, I think it will inspire you and give you a whole new perspective on content marketing and the importance of starting with “Why” in all that you do.

So what do you think? Hogwash? Or did you get inspired as well? Do you know the why for your compnay? for your own life even? hmmm… its got me thinking for sure!


PS: Big thanks to Cindy Nowicki for introducing me to this talk!