The June 2020 meeting covering Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

Behavior is based on assumptions and perceived truth, which is what affects our decision-making. A lot of companies have no idea why their customers choose them. Sometimes it’s price, but price can be a hard game to play because it’s a race to the bottom. The way companies can appeal to their customers is through things like promotions, which relate to price, fear, and aspirations, through peer pressure, or through innovation. But all of these various ways to manipulate customers don’t lead to loyalty. To find the key to customer behavior, start with why.

There is a concept called the golden circle. It starts with “why” on the inside, the next bigger circle is “how,” and then the outside circle is “what.” The “why” is why a company does what they do, “how” they do what they do is the process, and then “what” they do is the resulting product or service. The what is the most easy thing to identify. The how is harder to understand because you might have a proprietary process or unique selling proposition. The why is the most esoteric part of the golden circle.

The reason why the power of why works has more to do with biology than psychology. The why and the how circles are related to the limbic brain, and the what is related to the neocortex. Customers buy not just what you do, they buy why you do it, and that’s how you build a following. You have to have a clarity in your why first to be able to communicate to customers the how and the what.

When you’re trying to build up an organization, and you have a strong leader, you need the leader to be the manifestation of the why, and then the people who work under them need to be motivated by that why. The leader needs to start with why, and then the people under them are going to implement the how to come to the what.

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