How Great Leaders Inspire Action: A TED Talk by Simon Sinek (2023)

Simon Sinek's famous TED talkon Leadership does a great job of showing you how to get your point across. Use the story of Martin Luther King Jr. to explain how great leaders inspire people to act. They begin by explaining why they believe in their cause. People who hear this are more likely to believe in the leader and want to help achieve the goal. Sinek's presentation is motivating and inspiring, which is why her talk has been viewed more than 16 million times, making it one of the most viewed ted talks ever.

Sinek talks about the inspiring leadership of the Wright brothers at the turn of the 20th century. This first flight of man, this was a turning point in human invention. The brothers broke the status quo and were early adopters. Doctor King, as mentioned above, is another example of a leader who focused on a higher authority. He was one of the most inspiring leaders to use a position of power to advance the civil rights movement. The way Dr. King spoke on live television wasn't the only big speaker of the day, but her little idea inspired leaders who hadn't acted before for civil rights in America.

How great leaders inspire action | ...

How great leaders inspire action | simon sinek

(Video) How great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek

Watch Simon Sinek's TED Talkhere.

The key idea in Sinek's talk is his 'Golden Circle' concept. Let's unzip it.

(Video) Start with why -- how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound

the golden circle

Simon Sinek's "Golden Circle" is a powerful model that explains how leaders can inspire people to act. The template has three circles: the innermost circle, "Why?", represents the leader's purpose or goal; the central circle, "How?", represents the methods or strategies used to achieve that objective; and finally, the outermost circle, "What?", which represents the results or what results these successful strategies bring.

Because

The innermost circle of the Golden Circle, "Why?", is the most important. From there comes the purpose or objective of the leader. Everyone needs a reason to believe in something, and that's what the leader provides. When people understand why the leader is doing what they are doing, they are more likely to want to help achieve the goal. The leader's passion and conviction will inspire others to act.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech is a great example of how to articulate a vision. He begins by describing the dream and then explains why it is important. He makes people feel part of the dream and that they have the power to make it come true. By painting a picture of a better future, he inspires people to take action and fight for justice.

As

The middle circle of the Golden Circle, "How?", represents the methods or strategies used to achieve the objective. This is where the leader's experience comes in. When people see that the leader knows what he is doing and has a plan, they are more likely to trust them and follow his lead. The leader's knowledge and experience gives people the confidence that they are moving in the right direction.

An example of a leader who uses this strategy well is Elon Musk. He constantly shares his plans for the future of Tesla and SpaceX and makes it clear that he knows what he's doing. By showing his followers that he has a solid plan, he inspires them to believe in him and his vision.

That

The outermost circle, "What?", represents the results or what results these successful strategies bring. To be a successful leader, it's important to understand what those results are and how they can be measured.

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One way to think about this is to use the analogy of a rocket ship. The purpose of a rocket is to travel into space, and the method or strategy is the fuel that powers it. The result of this strategy is the spaceship reaching its destination.

As a leader, you need to be clear about your purpose or goal and then use strategies that achieve that goal. It is important to track the results of these strategies so that you can see if they are effective. By understanding the Golden Circle, leaders can better focus their efforts and create a plan that inspires others to take action.

Sinek explains how a cross section of the human brain, the brain of homo sapiens, shows why the Golden Circle is so powerful. The outer layer of the brain and the limbic brain, or another part of the brain, push us to act. Not always the clearest thing at the right time is what we do. Human behavior at various times is not about the right people or the right thing. The only reason some people do the wrong thing is because of some little spikes in the limbic brain.

This can lead to mass acceptance of an idea where the highest quality product loses out. A marketing message for an inferior product can trump an incredible breakthrough these days. The limbic system is a simple concept, but once you understand it, your best work with all kinds of leaders is possible.

Here are some examples of companies that use the Golden Circle concept well:

Garbage

Apple is a great example of a company using the Golden Circle concept to inspire others to take action. The company's mission is to "change the world one person at a time," and they use the Golden Circle to communicate this mission to their employees and customers. The innermost circle, "Why?", represents Apple's goal or purpose. The central circle, "How?", represents the methods or strategies used to achieve that goal. And finally, the outermost circle, "What?", which represents the results or what results these strategies bring. By understanding the Golden Circle, Apple can better focus its efforts and create a plan that inspires others to take action.

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starbucks

Starbucks is another company that uses the Golden Circle concept to inspire others to act. The company's mission is to "inspire and nurture the human spirit: one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time." Like Apple, Starbucks uses the Golden Circle to communicate its mission to its employees and customers. The innermost circle, "Why?", represents the goal or purpose of Starbucks. The central circle, "How?", represents the methods or strategies used to achieve that goal. And finally, the outermost circle, "What?", which represents the results or what results these strategies bring. By understanding the Golden Circle, Starbucks can better focus its efforts and create a plan that inspires others to take action.

Disney

Disney is a company that uses the concept of the Golden Circle to inspire others to act. The company's mission is to "make people happy," and they use the Golden Circle to communicate this mission to their employees and customers. The innermost circle, "Why?", represents the goal or purpose of Disney. The central circle, "How?", represents the methods or strategies used to achieve that goal. And finally, the outermost circle, "What?", which represents the results or what results these strategies bring. By understanding the Golden Circle, Disney can better focus its efforts and create a plan that inspires others to take action.

southwest airlines

Like Apple, Starbucks and Disney, Southwest Airlines also uses the Golden Circle concept to inspire others to act. The company's mission is to "democratize the sky," and they use the Golden Circle to communicate that mission to their employees and customers. The innermost circle, "Why?", represents the goal or purpose of Southwest Airlines. The central circle, "How?", represents the methods or strategies used to achieve that goal. And finally, the outermost circle, "What?", which represents the results or what results these strategies bring. By understanding the Golden Circle, Southwest Airlines can better focus its efforts and create a plan that inspires others to take action.

The Pentagon

The Pentagon is another organization that uses the Golden Circle concept to inspire others to act. The organization's mission is to "protect and defend the United States of America," and they use the Golden Circle to communicate this mission to their employees and customers. The innermost circle, "Why?", represents the Pentagon's goal or purpose. The central circle, "How?", represents the methods or strategies used to achieve that goal. And finally, the outermost circle, "What?", which represents the results or what results these strategies bring. By understanding the Golden Circle, the Pentagon can better focus its efforts and create a plan that inspires others to act.

"Users don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." -Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek's TED talk on how leaders can inspire others to act focuses on his concept of the 'Golden Circle'. Simon Sinek's "Golden Circle" is a model that can help leaders inspire others to act. The Golden Circle has three circles: the innermost circle, "Why?", represents the leader's purpose or goal; the central circle, "How?", represents the methods or strategies used to achieve that objective; and finally, the outermost circle, "What?", which represents the results or what results these successful strategies bring.

When people understand why the leader is doing what they are doing, they are more likely to want to help achieve the goal. Leaders must be clear about their purpose or objective and then use strategies that achieve that objective. It is important to track the results of these strategies so that you can see if they are effective. By understanding the Golden Circle, leaders can better focus their efforts and create a plan that inspires others to take action.

(Video) How great leaders inspire action - Simon Sinek

FAQs

How great leaders inspire action TED talk by Simon Sinek summary? ›

Summary. Inspired by Simon Sinek's popular Ted Talk, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, Start With Why teaches us how great organizations communicate, lead, and acquire loyal customers. Sinek argues that great leaders and organizations focus on WHY they do what they do, instead of WHAT they do and HOW they do it.

How do leaders inspire action according to Simon Sinek? ›

A true leader is someone we follow not because we have to but because we want to, says Sinek. Leaders who start with what they believe are the ones who inspire those around them, because in the end, we all follow those who lead not for themselves, but for others, says Sinek.

What makes a great leader according to Simon Sinek? ›

Simon says that the most important lesson of great leadership is that leaders always work for the people. That's why dictators always keep people divided. If the people are divided, the dictator stays in power. If the people come together, the dictator is out.

How do you inspire great actions as a leader? ›

By knowing and effectively communicating their why, leaders can inspire action. And they ultimately follow the laws of attraction. Because when you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who also believe.

What is Simon Sinek Ted talk about? ›

About the speaker. Simon Sinek explores how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change. He's the author of the classic "Start With Why."

What does TED stand for explain about the TED talk that inspired you? ›

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are collectively shaping our world. But a TED conference is broader still, showcasing important research and ideas from all disciplines and exploring how they connect.

How do leaders influence and move their followers to action? ›

Leadership has been described as the ability to influence others. An effective leader moves followers into action not with coercion but by eliciting their desire and conviction in the vision and goals articulated by the leader. Misused influence can bring about catastrophic results.

How do you put leadership into action? ›

Ten Ways to Practice Great Leadership by Taking Action
  1. Choose Action or Inaction Wisely. Deciding when to take action is a basic leadership choice. ...
  2. Make Teamwork a Priority. ...
  3. Hold Planning Conversations. ...
  4. Ensure That the Plan is Understood. ...
  5. Plan Obsolescence. ...
  6. Create a People Strategy. ...
  7. Learn From Success. ...
  8. Stretch the Comfort Zone.

What does it mean to inspire action? ›

So first of all, “inspiring” action means that you're not coercing action and you're not demanding action,¹ but rather that you are convincing other people to do something by finding a way to get them to want to do it.

How does Simon Sinek define leaders and leadership? ›

Leadership is a choice, not a rank,” says Sinek. Anyone in an organization can be a leader. “It's choosing to look out for the person on your left and to look out for the person on your right.” He brings us back to the military, where this concept of leadership is more accepted.

What are the top 3 qualities you believe make a leader a great leader? ›

Passion, teamwork, and social skills are three important qualities for leaders to possess in order to be effective. Learn how to bring these qualities into your workplace and put your best foot forward in both your personal and professional life.

Why do leaders need to inspire action? ›

Motivation pushes you to accomplish a task, or work through a difficult event, even when you would rather be doing anything else. We are motivated by a result. Inspiration pulls you towards something that stirs your heart, mind, or spirit. We are inspired by a person, an event, or a circumstance.

Why is it important for leaders to inspire? ›

Inspirational Leadership inspires action, significantly raises individual and team performance levels and ignites creativity and audacious innovation. It truly unlocks latent potential by tapping into our inner motivation and values and inspiring people to follow their passion and move towards ambitious goals.

How do you inspire people to action? ›

How to Motivate People to Take Action
  1. Limit Options.
  2. Appeal to Identity.
  3. Get Specific.
  4. Reward Behavior.
  5. Provide an Action Plan.
  6. Appeal to Group Mentality.
  7. Consider Convenience.
  8. Speak to Audience's Worldview.
Nov 14, 2022

What is the main message of TED talk? ›

Our goal is to inform and educate global audiences in an accessible way. Scientists, researchers, technologists, business leaders, artists, designers and other world experts take the TED stage to present “Ideas Worth Spreading”: valuable new knowledge and innovative research in their fields.

Why good leaders make you feel safe Sinek TED talk? ›

Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it's someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety -- especially in an uneven economy -- means taking on big responsibility. This talk was presented at an official TED conference.

How does Ted Talk inspire you? ›

When you listen to inspirational TED Talks or other motivational speeches, you'll start to feel more confident. You will get a burst of energy needed to start moving forward. Motivational talks can foster creativity, spur you on to success, and enrich your life.

What is the TED talk the puzzle of motivation summary? ›

In Dan Pink's TED Talk, he examines the puzzle of motivation because traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. He shares the results of several experiments that demonstrated that incentives could have the opposite intended impact, especially when tasks are more complicated.

Why good leaders make you feel safe Simon Sinek summary? ›

Author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek believes leaders should be more than just authority figures—to earn the trust, respect and cooperation of their teams, leaders should first make selfless sacrifices and put the needs of the people around them ahead of their own.

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