“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek: Useful Insights by Amal Sanderatne – Week 1

Last week, we looked at our CEO, Amal Sanderatne’s thoughts on Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start with why’ and how that related to finding Frontier’s WHY.

This week, we go into more depth with Amal’s handpicked insights from the book:

 

To fully grasp Sinek’s concept we need to identify the WHY, HOW and WHAT in a COMPANY. The following extract from the book helps us visualize these elements:

“Sitting at the top of the system, representing the WHY, is a leader; in the case of a company, that’s usually the CEO (or at least we hope it is). The next level down, the HOW level, typically includes the senior executives who are inspired by the leader’s vision and know HOW to bring it to life. Don’t forget that a WHY is just a belief, HOWs are the actions we take to realize that belief and WHATs are the results of those actions. In this rendering the HOW level represents a person or a small group responsible for building the infrastructure that can make a WHY tangible. Beneath that, at the WHAT level, is where the rubber meets the road. It is at this level that the majority of the employees sit and where all the tangible stuff actually happens.”

Why is it so Hard to describe “WHY”?

  • The Brain makes it hard

“The Limbic brain comprises of the middle two sections and is responsible for all our feelings, such as trust and loyalty. This area of the brain is responsible for all human behaviour and all our decision making. It is where our emotional connection takes place, and it has no capacity for language. It is this disconnection between these areas of the brain that makes it so difficult to articulate our feelings.

  • Because it’s a “Founder’s Why “ and the company is just one way of expressing it

Shows Bill Gates as someone whose “WHY” in life is to remove obstacles to ensure that everyone can live and work to their greatest potential. Now he still believes that if we can help people, this time those with less privilege, remove some seemingly simple obstacles, then they too will have an opportunity to be more productive and lift themselves up to achieve their great potential.

A comment I have is, this is a look-back, historical way of bringing everything together. I don’t think Bill Gates ever thought about his WHY when he started Microsoft or would articulate his current WHY the same way as Sinek has implied his “WHY” is now.  But it’s not a criticism, because again, it is something inherent, not something that can be communicated easily.

Is it enough to have a great “WHY”?

No.

 

Next week, we’ll go over two more of Amal’s insights.

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