Simon Sinek repeatedly says throughout his book, Start with Why that people don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. And WHY you do it is your root cause or root belief that is buried in your inner soul and background. It’s who you are and what you stand for. It’s demonstrated by everything you have done in your life and everything you are going to do from this moment on. Your WHY is basically your authenticity and what other people can expect to get from you when they deal with you.
“Unfortunately” says Sinek, “most of us aren’t very good at digging deep enough within ourselves to truly find our WHY, and for the few that do innately understand their WHY, even fewer are capable of expressing their WHY to others. Thus, the general population doesn’t know what they stand for and aren’t loyal to them or their brand, as evidence of the customers quickly leaving one brand for another that is having a sale.
Sinek says that these difficulties in getting others whose brand is our brand and who are what we are to understand our WHY and becoming loyal to us is not our fault because expressing ourselves is rooted in our biology. Sometimes it’s tough to be just a mere mortal.
Let’s take The Golden Circle that looks like a dart board with the bull’s eye in the middle and pull it out into a three dimensional figure so that now it resembles the shape of the human brain. The bull’s eye WHY has become the center of the brain and now represents our more primitive prehistoric limbic brain. The outer layer now consist of our newer neocortex brain. Our newer outer neocortex brain is where our language develop center resides. Thus, most of us usually have no problem saying in words WHAT we do. However, with our WHY residing in our older inner primitive limbic brain that has no capabilities for language it becomes very difficult for us to put our WHY into words. That’s why us humans love symbols, logos and pictures to tell the world our story and WHY we do what we do. The HOW part of the brain resides somewhere in the middle of these two brains and thus the ability to put our HOW in words is a bit easier than our limbic brain WHY but still somewhat fuzzier than our neocortex brain WHAT.
Some of us will actually try to put words to WHY we do what we do, but those words or reasons, are often wrong, and we don’t even know it. Remember, our WHY centered primitive limbic brain doesn’t have language capabilities. Thus, once again our difficulties in expressing our WHY is rooted in our biology of being human, which means it’s not our fault that we struggle with telling ourselves, as well as others our WHY. However, regardless of whose fault it is, it is still our own responsibility to take charge of our lives and improve in our WHY area. If we do, us mere mortals, who are also amazing humans can eventually develop our own human success story in both pictures and words that will draw others to us from far, faraway places.
Next month I will talk to you about a man who was pretty good at figuring out his WHY and expressing it to others.