Someone who has done a good job with figuring out his WHY and then explaining it in a way that others too can clearly see what his WHY is was Steve Jobs of Apple Computers according to Simon Sinek. Apple’s ability to remain one of the most innovative companies year after year, combined with their uncanny ability to attract a cult-like following, makes them a great example to demonstrate many of the principles of The Golden Circle and knowing your WHY.
Apple’s products give life to their cause. Apple “thinks differently” and everything they do demonstrates their WHY, which is to challenge the status quo. Apple wanted to give the individual sitting at home the same power as any big company. Apple wanted to empower the little guy. And this is a pattern that Apple has adhered to over and over again with all its different products from computers to phones to animated movies.
It shouldn’t be surprising that Apple wants to challenge the status quo when one thinks about its founder and CEO Steve Jobs. Jobs grew up in the 1960’s when the youth were challenging authority and the status quo. For many years, while trying to build his company, Jobs would show up to important meetings wearing no shoes and not have showered. He would be barefoot in those important meeting with his not so-pleasant smelling feet up on the table ruffling the feathers of many more traditional people who were present.
Hey, that’s just who Steve Jobs has always been. And growing up into an adult with a business didn’t change him. Until his death Jobs has always been the same Steve Jobs that he has always been and so has his WHY, which was always consistently demonstrated over time with everything his company and products have done.
When one is as good as Jobs was with explaining and showing his WHY, soon a cult-like following takes place because it’s no longer about the product as much as it is about the people who buy the product. These people are not loyal to the product because it’s a superior product that’s better than all the others. They are loyal to the product and brand because it is a good product that says a lot about who they are as people, as well as what they want to express to the outside world about who they are as people through using the product and showing off the brand.
Essentially, there is no difference between Apple’s customers, employees and shareholders. What they buy or do may be different, but they all have the same WHY and they all want the world to know it by associating with Apple, its products and Steve Jobs when he was still alive. In essence, Apple is not really a company that sells computers. It’s a company that is changing the world by challenging the status quo, and empowering the individual who just so happens to also sell computers among other things by the way.
Next month I will talk to you about how to find your WHY and what to do with all the great information in Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why.
Dan is an award-winning teen leadership author, speaker and educator. You can find out more about Dan at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com.