I wasn’t sure what to expect from the YouTube video link that my daughter recently forwarded to me (“we watched this in class today and I thought you might like it”).  Well, it turned out to be great.  So great that it is worth sharing.

It is Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk on why the most inspiring people and organizations (think Apple, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Wright Brothers) are so successful and influential.  Here is the video:

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

My takeaways:

  • There is power in purpose:  start with WHY you are doing what you are doing (rather than the WHAT and the HOW), which in turn makes it possible to attract others who share those beliefs, and to inspire them to act on this shared sense of purpose.
  • There are two kinds of leaders:  those who lead through power and authority, and those who lead by inspiring us.  The latter is more powerful because those kinds of leaders get us to do it for ourselves.  And that is a powerful purpose.
  • Tapping into your purpose allows you to be authentic, and makes you a more “sticky” leader because your followers are showing up for their beliefs, not just for you.

To quote Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. What you do simply is proof of what you believe.”

Simon Sinek is a leadership expert and author of “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”.  He also teaches Strategic Communications at Columbia University, and works with Count Me In, an organization committed to helping one million women-owned businesses reach a million dollars in revenues by 2012.