- all articles
- Start with why - how great leaders inspire action
Start with why - how great leaders inspire action
Before you embark on your first startup journey, make sure to ask yourself - Why?. The importance of “Why” goes beyond your personal motivations and is also connected with your potential customers, employees, and how they will respond to your product.
In his 2009 book, “Start with Why” Simon Senek focuses on what distinguishes successful stories and ideas from failed projects. Turns out that people who focus on their motivation and make it a pivotal aspect of their project are much more successful than those who don’t. According to Senek, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. So you might have all the necessary resources, all the right credentials but you will still fail to impress and inspire audiences if people don’t know your “Why” if you've failed to communicate your “Why”.
More than anything else, it’s Your reasoning and experiences are what draw people in, more so than shiny design.
Having a very defined belief system concerning your company will then eventually lead to a more loyal team as well. When you hire people who are only here for the money, you are not creating a team. These people will have no loyalty to you or your ideas and will drop you the second someone offers them more money. Meanwhile, people who are with you because they also believe in the same “Why” as you, there is loyalty and you can depend on them to stay with you through ups and downs.
Senek suggests following what he calls a “Golden Circle”. This means that first, you start with “Why”, then you plan out the “How” and finally you get to the product - the “What”?
The main idea is not that having a “Why” is all it takes to succeed. But instead, the book illustrates how without the “Why” your chances of having a loyal audience are lower. Without the clearly defined mission and motivation, you will find it hard to form a dream team as well.
You will still need professionals who know how to get things done and who know the product or service you are trying to sell. Above anything else, customers connect with the mission because it is inspiring and relatable. Having a clear “Why” helps you find like-minded people who will stick by the project and actually care about it. It will also greatly increase your chances of connecting with customers and creating a loyal user base.