The Golden Circle

Here's an older TED Talk from TEDxPugetSound in 2009 that I've always loved. My Advertising Media instructor this semester is the VP of Integrated Media at Cactus, a full service Marketing & Advertising Agency in Denver and discussed this Ted Talk with us in class. Even though I had seen this Ted Talk before, I hadn't applied this theory and the golden circle idea to other companies or organizations other than those referenced in the talk.

The speaker Simon Sinek says this way of thinking  "profoundly changed my view on how I thought the world worked and it even changed the way in which I operate in it". 

Sinek goes on to describe this golden circle: the "why" in the center, "how" in he middle layer, and "what" on the outside layer. He explains that organizations and leaders that inspire communicate from the inside out, starting with their why - rather than the how. The why is not "to make a profit", it is why an organization or company exists and why anybody should care. Sinek uses Apple as a perfect example of a successful company that has mastered their "why".

My instructor then asked us to guess the "why" for several large companies that we were all familiar with. Think about it... What is Amazon's why? Nike? Google? 

Amazon: “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company”

Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world”

Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful"

These "whys" are huge large-scale goals and missions. Sounds intimidating, but think about everything each company does and you'll see that the "why" really does drive how each company operates and what they create or do. 

"Those that start with why that have the ability to inspire those around them." - Simon Sinek