Yesterday I had the opportunity to share the Golden Circle concept with the audience of MITM G-27 seminar. I use this platform of thinking when I help to create an organization, branding a startup or a company — the workshop held at the fantastic Industrial Management Institute (IMI) in Tehran.
Inspired by Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle, I presented how to build a Golden Brand for startups and other organizations. The following slides include parts of the talk. I have added some orange boxes and notes to describe the illustrations. The basic idea is simple yet powerful: communicate with WHY.
The Golden Circle is a thought model developed by Simon Sinek. This model is the result of research into the success of the world’s most influential leaders and companies. Sinek found that behind all successful brands lies the same way of thinking, acting, and communicating, which are the complete opposite of how the majority of people think, act, and communicate.
When asked why they think their customers chose their company, most companies answer that their customers want them for their fantastic products or services that are keenly priced and of good quality. Sinek claims this proves that they have no idea why their customers are their customers. Prominent companies, on the other hand, let their customer approach be driven by the why question. We will explain this principle in the following using the Golden Circle.
The Golden Circle is made up of three circles. The core is the why, which is followed by the how, and the outer circle represents what. Most companies start with the outer ring (what) and then work inward (how and why). Only the most influential companies start in the core: why. We will first briefly explain what each circle entails.
- What > this is the circle of the products or services a company sells.
- How > companies’ explanation of how they do what they do. How can, for example, be a unique sales strategy or a specific differentiating feature. How is often used to explain how something is different or better. Managers tend to think that these are differentiating or motivating factors in consumers’ decision-making process.
- Why > this is not about making a profit, but rather about what companies believe in, what drives them. Inspired companies, regardless of their size or industry, think, act, and communicate from the inside out.
Want to know more? Watch Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk: How great leaders inspire action. As TED describes it is a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” Simon’s examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers.