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TEDtalks: Simon Sinek – How great leaders inspire action.
“As an ethnographer, we are in search of why but we actually ask what.” (Simon Sinek)
None of what I’m telling you is my opinion. It’s all grounded in the tenets of biology. Not psychology, biology. If you look at a cross-section of the human brain, looking from the top down, what you see is the human brain is actually broken into three major components that correlate perfectly with the golden circle. Our newest brain, our homo sapien brain, our neocortex, corresponds with the “what” level.
The neocortex is responsible for all of our rational and analytical thought and language. The middle two sections make up our limbic brains. And our limbic brains are responsible for all of our feelings, like trust and loyalty. It’s also responsible for all human behavior, all decision-making, and it has no capacity for language.
In other words, when we communicate from the outside in, yes, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information like features and benefits and facts and figures. It just doesn’t drive behavior. When we can communicate from the inside out, we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior, and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do. This is where gut decisions come from.
Sometimes you can give somebody all the facts and figures, and they say, “I know what all the facts and details say, but it just doesn’t feel right.” Why would we use that verb, it doesn’t “feel” right? Because the part of the brain that controls decision-making, doesn’t control language. And the best we can muster up is, “I don’t know. It just doesn’t feel right.” Or sometimes you say you’re leading with your heart, or you’re leading with your soul. Well, I hate to break it to you, those aren’t other body parts controlling your behavior. It’s all happening here in you limbic brain, the part of the brain that controls decision-making and not language.
Watch the entire video at http://www.TED.com:
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers — and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.
With an undergraduate degree in anthropology, most of Simon Sineks career has been spent in advertising. Although he began law school in London, he shortly left the program, moving to New York where he joined Euro RSCG, with a stint at Ogilvy & Mather, working on accounts for Oppenheimer Funds, MCI, NASDAQ and DISH Network. In 2002, he started his own company, Sinek Partners. His book, Start With Why, outlines the basis of his current work in leadership consulting.
Sinek also contributes to several efforts in the non-profit sphere: He works with Count Me In, an organization created to help one million women-run businesses reach a million dollars in revenue by 2012, and serves on the Board of Directors for Danspace Project, which advances art and dance. He writes and comments regularly for several major publications and teaches a graduate-level class in strategic communications at Columbia University.