In his 2009 TED talk, “How great leaders inspire action,” Simon Sinek explains that the distinct difference is in our reasons, our “Whys,” because people care more about your beliefs than your products, services and deliverables. That is why Apple is more innovative than other computer manufacturers, why Martin Luther King was the one who led the Civil Rights movement, and why the Wright Brothers were the first ones who made history with a controlled manned flight before anyone else, even those who were seemingly more qualified and better funded.
Sinek concluded that the greatest leaders and organizations in the world think, act and communicate the same exact way, a way that is completely different from the average person. Their marketing messages are based on WHY they do what they do and not how great their products or how innovative their technologies are. Per Sinek’s theory of The Golden Circle, Apple’s success lies in their beliefs—paraphrasing their message: “We believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently”—not how well-designed and user-friendly their computers are.
Although I am not completely sold on his “WHY” theory, it has a lot of valuable points.
I agree that profit is only a result of what you are doing, and should never be a reason for it. Money was never a motive or a driver for greatness. Talent, passion and persistence are way above monetary incentives.
I agree that an inspirational message is more effective than a sales pitch in marketing.
But can we lead others and affect their buying decisions simply based on our beliefs?
So if I believe that my theory of clarity in social media is the Holy Grail of social selling, I would not only get innovators’ (2.5%) and early adopters’ (13.5 %) business but also a desirable 15-18% market penetration, which is defined by the Law of Diffusion of Innovations as a tipping point of success? Hmm, I don’t think so.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe that my idea is brilliant and can help millions of people to look at social media differently. But just believing in it is not enough to inspire others.
We all believe in different things: some of us still believe in innovation and cutting-edge technologies; some think they can live without smart phones and computers; some of us believe that happiness is measured in material possessions. Some of us just take things as they are—the sky is blue, the grass is green and only gray has 50 ridiculous shades.
I believe that the missing piece in understanding the strong link between greatness and the qualities of great people—Talent, Persistence, Passion, Sense of Purpose, and Innovating thinking—is the unique desire to change the world.
All of the great people, geniuses and masterminds have always been and will always be crazy—crazy enough to think they can change the world.
Steve Jobs was more than just a computer genius. He knew that his products would change this world forever. Michelangelo, painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, knew that it would be a masterpiece. Albert Einstein envisioned universal transformation in his theory of relativity, and Thomas Edison saw this world as a brighter and warmer place, harnessing electricity.
In this 1997 Apple commercial, Steve Jobs solves the mystery of greatness, rightfully naming it “The crazy ones.”
Are you crazy enough to change the world? I know I am.
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LinkedIn Natalia Juhasz