Below is the gist of what he says:
How do you explain why some people are able to achieve things that seem impossible?
How is it that some companies, like Apple, year after year, always seem to lead innovation?
A few years ago I discovered something that changed my life, a pattern that I found in all the great leaders (individuals and companies). They all think in the same way, and it’s the opposite of everybody else. It’s
probably the world’s simplest idea (all I did was codify it). I call it the “Golden Circle”. How – in the center, surrounded by “Why”,surrounded by a larger circle “What”.
Inspired organizations and people all think, act, and communicate from the inside out.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
The Why, How, What model is actually grounded in biology (not psychology).
If you were to look at a cross section of the brian from top down, you’d see that it corresponds perfectly to the golden circle. Starting at the top, our “newest”(evolutionary) brain, our Homo-Sapien Brain, called our
Neocortex – it’s our what, it’s responsible for all our rational, analytical thought, and language. The middle two section make up our Limbic brains, which is for feelings, trust, and loyalty, it’s also responsible for all human behavior and decision making. It has no capacity for language. In other words, when we communicate from the outside in, yes, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information, features and benefits and facts and figures, it just doesn’t drive behavior. When we communicate from the inside out. we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior, and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do. This is where gut decisions come from. It’s why you can give someone all the facts and figures and they’ll say that they know what all the facts and the details say, but it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.
Why would they use that verb? Because the part of the brain that controls decision making doesn’t control language. Sometimes we say we’re leading with our heart, or our soul. That’s all happening in your limbic brain.
But if you don’t’ know why you do what you do, then how will you ever get someone to buy into it, and be loyal, or want to be a part of what it is that you do.
After all, the goal is not just to get people to buy that need what you have, but to believe what you believe. The goal is not just to hire people who need a job, but who believe what you believe. If you hire people who just need a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people that believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.
When you ask why people fail, they always give you some permutation of the same three things.
2. The wrong people
3. Unfavorable market conditions
But the Wright Brothers were driven by a cause, by a purpose, by a belief. They believed that if they could figure out this flying machine, it would change the course of the world. Samuel Peirpont Langley was different. He wanted to be rich, and he wanted to be famous - in pursuit of the result as riches. In the
end, the people who believed in the dream, worked with blood and sweat and tears, the others, just for the paycheck.
If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe. Microsoft sells the “what”, and sometimes the“how”, but Apple sells the “why”.
Of all our population:
1. 2.5% innovators
2. 13.5% early adopters
3. 34% early majority
4. 34% late majority
5. 16% laggards
We all sit at various places at various times along this scale.
If you want mass market appeal, mass market success or acceptance of an idea (the two 34% sides), you cannot have it until you have achieve this tipping point, between 15% and 18% market penetration.
The early majority will not try something, until somebody else tries it first. These early guys are comfortable doing that, living intuitively, based on what they BELIEVE about the world (the why), not just what’s available (the what). These are those who stand in line for 6 hours to buy an iPhone.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. In fact what you do, simply proves what you blieve (belief pyramid, also why judged by works, our works, or our “what” is the clearest manifestation of our strongest beliefs).
He then gives examples for a famous failure and a famous success of the law of diffusion of innovation.
There are leaders, and there are those who lead. Leaders are those who hold a position of power or authority. But those who lead are those who inspire us. Wether within organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. Not for them, but for ourselves.
And it’s those who start with why, who have the ability to inspire those around them or find others to inspire them.
Here is the video, with our highest recommendations (it’ll change the way you look at what you do).