3 Tiers of Organizational Motivation

Do you know YOUR why?

Watching TED Talks is one my favorite pastimes. I especially enjoy watching the 25 most popular talks of all time.


Recently, I watched a TED Talk by Simon Sinek, one of my favorite authors, and number three on the popular talks list. In his TED Talk, Sinek explains one simple principle used by great leaders inspire to action by others.

Do you want to be a great leader? Then understanding and mastering this one single principle can make the difference and elevate you to the status of one of the greats.

What is the principle? It’s called the “Golden Circle” and it’s an idea that applies to several aspects of business, especially leadership.

The idea was first suggested by Sinek, who set out to codify what it was that made great leaders stand out and inspire action. Famously, he went on to outline his findings in his TED Talk.

Why is it that some organizations are leaders? What separates those leaders from their competition? Why do some organizations keep innovating while others just seem to stay stuck in the past?

As he examined these questions, what Simon found was some organizations approached their purpose in the opposite way of their contemporaries. Specifically, they asked the question “why” first, as opposed to asking it last like so many others.

According to Sinek’s golden circle, there are three tiers of motivation you can use to describe an organization:

  1. What – The “what” is what the organization does. Your organization, for example, might make dumbbells.
  2. How – The “how” of course, is how it does the “what”. Maybe that means using outsourced manufacturing.
  3. Why – The “why” is what motivates that organization to do what it does.

For example, other than money, why did those involved choose the fitness industry? What was it they were hoping to accomplish? What do they believe?

The answer might be the organization was hoping to change the way people felt about themselves. Maybe it was that they wanted to create a healthier society. Maybe they just wanted to make people happier.

But regardless of the scenario, “why” is what matters as a leader. Once you know your “why”, you can inspire others with it. Once you find the passion and the drive behind your organization’s plans, it will become evident and contagious. Other people will become as passionate as you are, including your customers and your team.

Knowing your “why” makes it much easier to find and navigate your course of action.

Once you know what your long-term goals are, you can make better decisions to achieve them, rather than just trying to stay afloat the entire time.

Great leaders inspire others when they live their why!

Do you know YOUR why?

Your friend,

Dr. Kim Moore, guiding YOU to lead with confidence!

Dr. Kim Moore

Kim d. moore

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