Start with Why: Creating a Value Proposition with the Golden Circle Model
Today’s modern business is very dynamic with fast changes and lots of opportunities for not just companies, but also for very capable individuals who can seize those opportunities and improve their personal business and rise above their competitors.
To that, every leader needs a good marketing strategy.
Marketing has always been an important part of business activities, but nowadays it has become even more important due to the nature of global markets.
New platforms and social media networks have also contributed to that.
Social media marketing is very important these days because millions of people use social media, which has changed and fastened the way you as a firm, could get in touch with your consumers and clients.
And in marketing, it is crucial to do the right things the right way at the right time. That’s why we are here today.
We are going to introduce you to the Golden Circle Model, the creation of Simon Sinek, and help you get the notion of why it is important to do certain things and how to do them.
WHO IS SIMON SINEK?
Before we plunge into the matter at hand, let us introduce you to the creator of Golden Circle Model, present his short biography, so you would get the idea of what kind of person he is and then perhaps you could relate yourself to him and his experiences.
Simon Sinek was born on 9th October 1973 in London. He is best known as an influencer who designed and popularized the Golden Circle concept.
Apart from that, he wrote several books, amongst which is “Start With Why” the most known and popular.
During his early life, he had lived in several countries, South Africa, United Kingdom, and Hong Kong before he settled in the USA.
Simon Sinek attended City University in London, where he studied law. Apart from that, he also attended Brandeis University, where he earned his Bachelor Degree in Cultural Anthropology.
He started his career by working for several advertising agencies, where he managed to learn the basics of doing business, so he later decided to open his own firm, called Sinek Partners, with which Simon Sinek helps people achieve the goals that would help them boost their leadership skills.
That devotion and a fresh look on some business activities were appealing and have granted him great respect, which drove some very big names to invite him to their meetings and discuss possible ideas he would have for them.
Some of those names are Microsoft, US Congress members, and GE Silicones, for example.
Right now, Simon Sinek acts as a member of Board of Advisors in one of the most promising companies in the United States, which is „1-800-GOT-JUNK?“ and as a member of Board of Directors in New York’s „Notario Dance“.
Let’s see how Simon Sinek inspire people to become great leaders, marketers and respected among the crowd itself.
10 LESS KNOWN FACTS ABOUT SIMON SINEK
There is a lot to know about Simon Sinek’s professional career, some of which is relatively easily accessible, while some of it is not so popular topic when you hear the name Simon Sinek.
We are going to present to you some of those less known facts about Simon Sinek you might have not heard yet.
1. Natural Way to Achieve Satisfaction!
Simon Sinek is a well-known talker and influencer, so you will hear him talking about a lot of things, not just about marketing and the business in general.
One thing he likes to mention is how people are addicted to dopamine.
He claims it is an amazing natural drug when its levels are measured appropriately, but he also claims that we are trying too much to increase dopamine levels unnaturally, by using all kinds of tools and gadgets.
When people do that, their sense of indulgence increases, but it is only temporary, because the result was forced and not natural.
What we should do is work on ourselves and achieve that indulgence on ourselves, because only then we can really be satisfied with our achievements, knowing that we did it.
2. How much is Simon Sinek’s Net Worth?
Simon Sinek does a lot of things, from writing books to advising some of the most famous companies in the world, so you could have already guessed that he has a very noticeable net worth, which would be the right assumption.
His estimated net worth by 2015 was over $15 million, which was the result of his work altogether, because, unlike many other TED talkers, he is the one that doesn’t seem like you are getting the usual TED-talk package.
In other words, he does not tell fairytales and all that comes with them, but instead, he focuses on letting us know about the things we have really needed to hear.
3. God Save the Queen!
If you have ever been on one of Simon Sinek’s performance and if you heard him talking, you probably said how fine American he is. But that is where you would be wrong.
Simon Sinek is born in Wimbledon in the United Kingdom, where he had spent some of his childhood and school years.
But since he had traveled so much, from England to South Africa, and eventually the USA, he learned how to cover his accent and blend in.
But even now, when he gets emotional during his talks, you can hear that British accent from time to time.
4. Social Sciences as His Mentor
One of the most important things every public speaker and influencer need to know is understanding how other people’s minds work in order to find the right approach when resolving their problems.
Some people are less acceptive of certain solutions, so you would have to find the right way to convince them it is the right thing to do.
Simon Sinek graduated from Brandeis University in 1995 and there he did learn a lot about people’s behavior, which later helped him become a better public speaker and problem solver.
5. It’s Always Parents’ Fault
When talking about behavior in general and how the home upbringing has a very important role in shaping people’s personalities while they are still young.
The problem with modern upbringing is that children are too protected and spoiled, so some of them tend to grow up to be ‘snowflakes’, to think they are better than everyone else, while in the past it was the complete opposite when children were too neglected.
6. Military Man
Simon Sinek had served in the United States Air Force for a while and he did a tour in Afghanistan, where he learned a great deal about what it really means to sacrifice for something you believe in without having to think of any personal gain.
He learned how to work with other people, with his brothers in arms. It’s not a myth that the time spent in the military can change how people think, and that is exactly what had happened with Simon Sinek.
After the service, he himself said that he considers himself to be a new, better man after all he had experienced there.
7. Relationships Guru
Simon Sinek is one of those people who think that it is very important to nurture the relationship between two people if it is worth nurturing.
He learned that from his parents, who, in 2011, had celebrated their 40 years anniversary. Their example showed him that even though there are difficulties because there are difficulties in all relationships and marriages,
Their devotion to endure all those problems throughout the years taught him what it really means to love someone.
8. Boy Becoming a Man
There came the time when Simon Sinek had to draw a line when it comes to his relationship with his parents.
They had a difficult time accepting him as a person he had become, but instead, they still treated him as a child. He didn’t like that and, of course, he tried to become independent at that point.
It was one of the best decisions in his life because he managed to prove that his parents were wrong and that it strengthened his relations with his parents.
That’s why his advice to all the young people in a similar position is to try to become independent and release themselves of their parents’ leash, because only then, they will be truly free and happy and, at the same time, their relations with their parents would be much stronger.
9. Bound by Trust
Simon Sinek tells us that it is very important for everyone to find someone they can talk about anything, someone who is there for them to celebrate every victory and drink through every defeat.
Someone who they would trust the most and for who they would do anything because, in their hearts, they would know that person like that is family, no matter the blood ties.
Simon Sinek’s special person is and always will be his sister. They can talk to each other about anything, both business and private related, both happy and sad news.
There is almost nothing they cannot share with each other.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Criticize
Even though Simon Sinek tries to inspire optimism in people, he teaches us that sometimes it is good to give your true opinion and criticize other people so they could learn from their mistakes.
Without both positive and negative criticism, we could never know if we did something right, so it is very important to give and receive some kind of feedback, no matter if it is good or bad.
THE GOLDEN CIRCLE MODEL
In his book ‘Start with Why’, Simon Sinek focuses on specifics of successful leadership and how people could implement that leadership to distinguish both themselves and their products by using good marketing strategies.
Some of the most important questions every marketer and businessman have to answer are what are they supposed to do, how are they supposed to do it and why are they even doing it.
Every company’s leader has to answer those three questions so the company could have a clear path ahead of itself to follow and grow.
Now, Simon Sinek elevates this concept to a new higher level. His theory is that leaders should first focus on the ‘Why?’ the question instead of ‘What?’.
So, in theory, first, they should ask themselves Why their company even exists, what is its purpose. Then come the questions of How to achieve that purpose, or in other words, how to fulfill the company’s mission and vision. And lastly, they should ask themselves What to do.
This is essentially the Golden Circle model, which has become very popular after the release of Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start with Why’.
Right now, we are going to explain the model in detail and see why Simon Sinek picked this particular order of questions.
After that, we will go over some criticism related to the Golden Circle model and check out if that criticism is backed up by solid facts or if it is just empty talk.
The first question to ask according to the Golden Circle model is ‘Why?’ Let us see why is ‘Why’ so important.
One of the most important activities for any leader or even marketer is to establish a strong brand that would be capable of dealing with any potential obstacles the company could encounter.
For instance, let’s examine the situation of Apple. We all know that Apple is one of the best and biggest multinational companies, so you may think why the hell would we use it as an example here?
Well, even the best of the best make mistakes. That is how people and companies learn, by making mistakes, so there is nothing to be ashamed of it.
Now, we mention Apple because throughout the years they have released some amazing products, their iPhones are considered as some of the fastest and the most reliable mobile phones out there. But, like everyone else, Apple made some mistakes throughout that process.
One of the most terrible products Apple has ever released onto the market is considered to be iPad 3, which came as a surprise, because iPad 2 was very good and reliable, and people expected that its successor will be even better.
But, they were very wrong. iPad 3 was very clunky, it was getting hot too soon, and people have even claimed that if you upgrade it to the newest version, you could almost hear CPU crying for help.
Even though it was a terrible product, people were still buying it for a while, because after all, it’s the product from Apple. Having a good brand like Apple means that companies are able to overcome certain crisis much faster.
It is not that hard to right your wrongs when you have a strong brand, but the hard thing is to even get there, to establish a strong brand as Apple did.
Simon Sinek claims that in order for companies and leaders to establish a strong brand, they need to start with why they even exist, what is their mission, because when they answer that question, they basically impact people’s minds on a certain level in a part of the listener’s brain called the limbic brain.
That specific part of the brain is tasked with allowing us to feel trust, to feel loyalty and to be able to make better decisions.
If people trust you as a company and if they are willing to put that trust even when your products are not of top-notch quality, you will be able to build a solid brand, which would be different than other brands on the market.
Eventually, that is one of the goals of every company, to build a lasting and unique brand in order to fight its competitors and seize as much of the market for itself as possible.
Now that you, as a leader, managed to answer the ‘Why’ question, the next step is to do the same with ‘How?’.
This question has a task to help you find out what are your company’s strengths and weaknesses, to find the optimal way of doing things and solving problems.
When you set your mission and vision, you have to find a way to fulfill them, because if you cannot do that, then what is the point of setting them in the first place.
Simon Sinek thinks that it is fairly important to find the right ways to differentiate your products, because, as we have already said, it is one of the most important things in modern business, because of the characteristics of the global market, where the competition is fierce.
Let’s take Apple as an example once more. Products we get from Apple are quite recognizable, both by appearance and their functionality as well.
We can say that iOS is a bit more stable than Android, though, in the end, it is a matter of preference.
iPhones are generally much easier to use than Android phones.
While they both have some very advanced options, it is fairly easy to find and apply all those options by using iPhones, because there is literally one button.
That simplicity and top quality are what is iPhone known for.
It’s a good example of product differentiation and it means it could affect people’s behavior and their opinion of the brand itself.
Simon Sinek claims that it is not that hard to answer this question. Ultimately, ‘What’ only relates to what the company does.
What products it’s making and sell or what services it is ready to offer to its clients.
He says that this question is in close connection to the neocortex, which is the part of our brain that is tasked with allowing us to think rationally.
His claim says that neocortex doesn’t have too much influence on our decision-making process, compared to the limbic part of the brain.
He claims that if you want to be a successful leader you have to think more about why you do what you do instead of just thinking what you do.
THE DISADVANTAGES OF GOLDEN CIRCLE MODEL
A lot of people did criticize this model, saying how it is just used to instigate passion in leaders and that the long-term effects are not efficient enough for this model to be crowned as the optimal solution.
Other people say that this model instigates people not to use their common sense and reason when they need to make hard decisions, which is, of course very debatable.
However, the most convincing argument against this model is the simple truth that there is one more question that comes before ‘Why?’, and that question is ‘Who’.
What is meant by this is that successful companies and individual leaders first have to define Who they want to serve and Who are the customers and clients that their company needs to help by giving them the opportunity to fill their needs and meet their personal preferences?
There are two main reasons for applying this upgraded Golden Circle model.
1. Don’t Just Dream – Make Your Dreams Happen!
One of the biggest problems with new firms is that they all have a dream, something they believe in and something they want to achieve, but they are not actually doing that at all.
They tend to promote and advertise what they believe in but never act on it.
Sounds like politics, right?
But running a business is not the same as being a politician, even though there are some similarities. Running a business means producing good products and fulfilling your customer’s needs in order to meet their preferences.
People might fall for your false advertisement and empty promises for a while, but eventually, they always wake up and that’s when companies die and vanish from the market, almost never to recover, because they lost people’s trust.
2. Innovation Opportunities
It is commonly known that innovation is a very important part of any business because, without it, companies would not stand a chance to compete against their competitors.
Now, why we mention ‘Who’ question here?
Well, it is much easier to focus on specific types of innovation if you answer this question if you know your customers, your market and their needs and preferences.
That way, you could find yourself searching for those innovations that would help you increase the effectiveness of your actions that are responsible for fulfilling those needs.
Simon Sinek is a very good influencer and TED-talker, so you have probably learned a lot by learning a bit about him here and got an impression of what the Golden Circle model is and why it is so important in modern business.
What remains now is for you to boldly go where no man has gone before and become the leader your company needs you to become.