The Why Comes Before What And How

by Jay Deragon on 05/07/2012

It isn’t what you do or how you sell it is why that makes the difference.

A lot of marketers talk about how great their product or company is and what they sell that makes them so great. But few talk about “why” which is a matter of beliefs and beliefs is what draws people to a product or service

Simon Sinek was able to demonstrate that even without the bottomless pockets, the network of people, or the sheer brilliance of the greatest minds money can buy, the people and companies that became household names did so by reversing the way they share their message with others. He calls it “The Golden Circle”, and shows that most marketing messages – even from the most well-known (and well-funded) companies, go something like this:

100% of all organizations know WHAT they do.
Some know HOW they do it.
Very few know WHY they do what they do.

Sinek’s main message is: very few organizations know why they do what they do. Why does the organization exist? Why should the CEO get out of bed in the morning? But until an organization identifies it’s central belief and message, they will most likely continue to communicate in a mediocre way.

“Why” Makes A Difference

All of us ask lots of questions about everything and everyone. These questions include:

  1. Who is it about?
  2. What is it about?
  3. Where is it?
  4. When is it?
  5. Why is it important?

The principle underlying the maxim is that each question should elicit a relationship with the subject matter, the person, the business or the product — information necessary to spark a consideration.

The primal question that solicits rationale for a possible relationship is “why”?. Before answering the what and how great companies also begin with the why and they tell why over and over. Subsequently the audience first identifies with the why before the what and how.  The why gives us all meaning and it is meaning that drives our purpose.

Without answering why there is no real purpose or meaning,  Get it?



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