Ok, first things first.
I’m hugely respectful of Simon Sinek. And a little jealous too. He really is an inspiration.
That’s that bit out of the way!
Now back to Simon’s ‘Why, How, What’.
Simon makes reference to 3 icons in his original ‘How great leaders inspire action’ TED talk.
He refers to Apple Computers, Martin Luther King and The Wright Brothers and how their ‘why’ was all about changing the world. Which they did – emphatically.
And I see many businesses now using ‘find my why’ in their mission statements, often encouraged by over-zealous business coaches.
I think, in a marketing context, ‘why’ is misunderstood and gets in the way of the essential ingredients that give a company a competitive edge; and the actual reason people want to engage with your company.
‘Why’ is not how passionate you are or your commitment to ‘excellent customer service’. It’s not about empty platitudes on your website either.
For most companies, there’s loads of passion, a shedload of knowledge and wisdom, yet there may not actually be a ‘why’, and you may not change the world. And that really is ok.
Simon Sinek, wrong? No, and his ‘why’ is not to be underestimated, so long as it’s used correctly.