By: Jacob Robinson
Have you ever heard of the Golden Circle? Simon Sinek popularized this concept in a Ted Talk. If you haven’t, I’m about to show you. The Golden Circle gives a different perspective on the way you relate to your customers’, business, and employees.
Think about the great companies of this world. What makes them different from the rest? According to Sinek, they know why their organization exists. They know why they do what they do. The Golden Circle helps illustrate the correlation between this knowledge and success.
The Anatomy of the Golden Circle
The Golden Circle is basic. It consists of an inner circle (Why), a middle circle (How), and an outer circle (What).
Why – This is the core belief of the business. It’s why the business exists.
How – This is how the business fulfills that core belief.
What – This is what the company does to fulfill that core belief.
All businesses know what they do. Most know how they do it or what makes them different. But few businesses know why they do what they do.
Let’s apply the Golden Circle to a general contractor:
- What – we provide renovation services.
- How – we do this through skilled labor, creative designs, and attention to detail.
- Why – we exist to find and create beauty in people’s lives.
The premise of the Golden Circle is as follows:
People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it! It doesn’t matter if they are employees or customers. They relate to your business through your “why”.
Knowing your why helps you do business with the right people, hire the right talent, and inspire your employees.
Before continuing, think about the why. Think about what drives you drives you do to do what you do (this doesn’t include money. Money is a result).
Let’s look at a few ways you can use the Golden Circle in your business.
The Golden Circle in Sales and Marketing
Yes, we’d all like to sell our product or service to all consumers that have a need. But, what makes a consumer decide to do business with one business over another? Many times they identify with the why of that business. When we can identify the people who relate to our why, selling and marketing becomes much easier.
Let’s go back to the general contractor example.Which of the following statements is more favorable?
Option 1: At Bill’s General Contracting we provide renovation services. We do this through skilled labor, creative designs, and attention to detail. Want us to renovate your kitchen?
Option 2: Bill’s General Contracting exists to create beauty in peoples’ lives. We see beauty in all things. We create beauty through skilled labor, creative designs, and attention to detail. Would you like us to renovate your kitchen?
Option 1 moves from the outside of the circle inwards and Option 2 moves from the inside of the circle outwards.
I’d rather buy from Option 2! It just speaks to me.
When marketing your company, embody your why. Everything from graphic designs to flyers to your website should start with why and work out. Don’t forget, people don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it!
The Golden Circle in Hiring
Everyone wants to attract the best talent possible. Hiring the best makes your business more effective, stable, and profitable. Great employees also make your life easier.
How do you get the right people to work for you? Maybe the better question is, who are the right people to work for you?
Sinek argues that you should be hiring the people who believe in your why. They will work for you with blood, sweat, and tears because they believe in your mission. They’re not simply working for your money.
Think about some of the most passionate companies out there. Google, Tesla, Apple, and Whole Foods. They work every day to accomplish their why and their employees do, too. No matter the size of your business, this applies to you!
The Golden Circle in Managing
Think of the great leaders of the past century. Have you ever wondered what catapulted them to success? They don’t start speeches with how they plan on doing something. They always start with why.
Here’s an exercise: Think of your all-time favorite politician or activist. Why are they your favorite?
You didn’t identify with their 10 point plan for economic prosperity or their charismatic attitude. You identified and related to them through their mission. Their purpose. Their reason for existence. Sure, their how and what support their why, but those are not the reasons you follow or vote for them.
This same mentality applies to your business. Whether you are managing 1 person or a team of people, it’s your job to inspire into action your employees through your why. Your employees will work and go to bat for you when you speak, act, and manage from your why.
Put the Golden Circle to Work
Certainly businesses operate every day without meaningfully knowing their why. They may have no knowledge of the Golden Circle and may still be successful.
But, imagine how much more efficient, profitable, and happy you and your company would be if you made an effort to surround yourself with people who identify and relate to your why! Take a few minutes if you haven’t already. Identify your personal and your business’s why. Then put it to work!
More Traffic. More Leads. More Customers.
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