Thinking differently and challenging the status quo are key beliefs here at Laidlaw Group. Not only do we share OUR inspiration with our clients but, we listen to what inspires and drives them as well–not just as business partners but as individuals. Recently, a friend and client, Greg Lombardi, shared with us, an inspirational TedTalk given by Simon Sinek, on how true leaders inspire action by asking one simple question that every business, organization and individual should ask themselves: “Why?”
Sinek starts out by begging the questions: “What’s your purpose?” “What’s your cause?” and “Why does your organization exist?” Above all, “Why should anyone care?” Successful businesses and truly inspirational leaders thoroughly ponder this existential paradigm before any attempt to communicate an idea to the masses. Sinek reiterates one key point throughout; people don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it and the main objective is to do business with the people who believe what you believe. Also, what you do should simply prove why you do it. He states that communicating from the inside out rather than from the outside in, is the most direct way to reach and inspire people.
Sinek cites the Wright Brothers as one example among many who have used their beliefs to validate their goals and capture the whole of society.
In the early 20th century, the pursuit for man-powered flight was equivalent to the social media boom of today–a pursuit expected to result in fame and profit. Sinek speaks of Samuel Pierpont Langley, a well-funded, well-educated and well-connected, competitor in the race for man-made flight. He had all the latest tools and top minds at his disposal yet he lost the race to two working-class, undereducated brothers who ran a bike shop in Dayton, Ohio.
In his talk, Sinek reveals the one key difference between the Wright brothers and Samuel Pierpont Langley to prove his point; the Wright brothers were driven by the core belief that building a fully functioning flying machine would change and benefit the course of humanity. On the other hand, Samuel Pierpont Langley was simply driven by the result, or in other words, the paycheck, not the belief. The Wright brothers surrounded themselves with people who shared the same dream, and through support and collaboration with those people–not just hired hands–they changed the world.
Sinek again reiterates that people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it and that is what truly inspires and motivates.
“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”